SY 2012-2013, First Semester
- Data Protection Bill: Right to Privacy
- Fan Art in the Philippines: Lawful Expression of One’s Mind
- The Harm or Charm of Downloading
The Data Protection Bill is in pursuant of the Constitutional right of the people to privacy. Under the Article 3, Section 3 of the 1987 Constitution of the Philippines, the privacy of communication and correspondence shall be inviolable except upon lawful order of the court, or when public safety or order requires otherwise, as prescribed by law. Personal information of a person should be secured at all times, this is an obligation of the state.
This bill will help me in the sense that it will protect my personal information in the government and other private sector. For example, if I put information as regards my passport, the government cannot process that personal information for public usage. Such information will be used only for government purposes and for that alone. If one would steal other person’s personal information, it is like stealing one identity. A person’s identity is a property of that person alone, it is not res nullius.
The Data Protection Bill will affect the community in the sense that a person, which is the data subject, voluntarily consents to the data processing of personal information about him or her. This bill will help the society in knowing the truth about any illegal activities he or she may have done if ever he or she consented to the data processing.
Under the Rule 3, Section 2 of the Rules on Electronic Evidence, an electronic document is admissible in evidence if it complies with the rules on admissibility prescribed by the Rules of Court and related laws and is authenticated in the manner prescribed by these. If this bill will be passed it will fall under “related laws”. This will strengthen one’s right in protecting his personal information be admissible in court. This will help the community in strengthening one’s safeguard against unlawful usage of their information whenever an electronic data message is involved.
Fan art in the Philippines has become a trend for those who go gaga over characters, usually cartoons that they admire. It is defined as an artwork that is based on a character, costume, collage, item, or story that was created by someone other than the artist, such as a fan, from which the word is derived from. The term, while it can apply to art done by fans of characters from books, is usually used to refer to art derived from visual media such as comics, movies or video games. In addition to traditional paintings and drawings, fan artists may also create web banners, avatars, or web-based animations, as well as photo collages, posters, and artistic representation of movie, show or book quotes. The legality of fan art in the Philippines is based on the Intellectual Property Code. It may be considered as derivative work which is entitled to copyright. Under Sec. 173 derivative works such as dramatizations, translations, adaptations, abridgments, arrangements, and other alterations of literary or artistic works; and collections of literary, scholarly or artistic works, and compilations of data and other materials which are original by reason of the selection or coordination or arrangement of their contents shall be protected by copyright. A fan art may be considered as derivative work provided that it does not affect the force of any subsisting copyright upon the original works employed or any part thereof, or be construed to imply any right to such use of the original works, or to secure or extend copyright in such original works. By the definition itself a fan art is based on a character that was made by an artist which is a fan of such. It may be legal as long as it does not impinge on the original work to which it was based. For example, those who draw cartoons of anime and alter it in order to make it personalized. They do not violate any law as long as it is not published or endanger the copyright of the original work of the author.
Expression of one’s thoughts may be done through drawing. Fan art is an expression of admiration of an aficionado and Philippines is equipped with laws in order to protect the author of the original work and the derivative work as well.
 Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines
People are fond of watching movies, listening to music. An original dvd costs hundreds of pesos depending on the type and quality of the movie. Cds containing music almost cost the same. In the Philippines and with our present economy, an average Filipino cannot afford to buy such items, they are not necessities to start with. What is the alternative? Downloading.
Downloading is defined as the means to receive data to a local system from a remote system, or to initiate such a data transfer. Examples of a remote system from which a download might be performed include a web server, FTP server, email server, or other similar systems.  The question is the act of downloading amount to copyright infringement? Under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines , literary and artistic works, referred to as “works”, are original intellectual creations in the literary and artistic domain protected from the moment of their creation. Any reproduction of these works without permission from the author is a violation which gives rise to copyright infringement, but, does this cover the act of downloading?
In New Zealand, the implementation of the “Three-Strike Rule” has lessened the piracy throughout their country. This rule allows fines of up to NZ$15,000 (£7,600) to be issued to illegal downloaders caught three times. This law is a good law. This rule is a good source in preventing piracy in the Philippines. In our country, laws are not the problem. We have enough of such in order to make our country safe from physical or any form of harm. What our country lacks is the efficient implementation of our laws.
There is an Anti-Piracy bill looming in the Philippines. The Anti-Online Piracy proposal might include any or all of the following provisions and penalties:
- Shutting down of local websites illegally distributing pirated software and apps.
- Closing down of local sites that provide downloads of unlicensed songs or movies.
- Blocking off international sites that are known to openly assist in illegally distributing copyrighted materials.
- Imposing penalties on local websites that uses copyrighted materials without proper consent or attribution.
- Imposing penalties on individuals or groups that openly share or distribute copyrighted content. 
In order to remove the fog on the issue whether downloading is considered copyright infringement I believe that this bill should be passed. But the question remains, will our government and law enforces be able to implement this law proficiently? That is the query that needs to be answered in the future once the Anti –Piracy bill becomes a law.
 Section 172.1, Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.