Salon, Lemuel Mark

SY 2012-2013, Second Semester


R.A. 10173 or AN ACT PROTECTING INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL INFORMATION IN INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS IN THE GOVERNMENT AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR, CREATING FOR THIS PURPOSE A NATIONAL PRIVACY COMMISSION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

The sphere of the cyber space is the off limit place where datas, and information can be disseminated without any protection and restrains that the State cannot afford and intervene.

Due to the advance technology which improves with brisk, our State has no more control to protect its citizen’s right that are frown to violate specially the right to privacy. The government with the same view and footing may with critical and sensitive matters be effortlessly be accessed.

As an ordinary citizen to be aware about the application of the law, it is a must to know the exact wordings of it. Its application protects each individual against illegal use, abused, harass and even destroy the credibility of someone’s peaceful living. The right to be left alone is only one of the fundamental rights that the Constitution provides. It is not specifically provided for but it is within the umbras and penumbras of the Bill of rights.

However, this fundamental right cannot be properly implemented without a law to specifically punish those who exceed their freedom resulting to irreparable damage of someone’s reputation. Once an information was disseminated, it will be there forever.

The prosecution and procedure stated is being given and empowered by law to the National Privacy Commission, having the functions as stated under Section 6 of the same Bill, likewise penalties having been enumerated for any violation of the rights of private individual and of the Government are herein enumerated covered under Chapter VII.

Criminal sanctions under the law will serve as teeth to gnashed the violator and serve as an example.

With State policy to afford protection for and the possible intervention of the State with this sphere, the law provides that:

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is the policy of the State to protect the fundamental human right of privacy, of communication while ensuring free flow of information to promote innovation and growth. The State recognizes the vital role of information and communications technology in nation-building and its inherent obligation to ensure that personal information in information and communications systems in the government and in the private sector are secured and protected.
SEC. 4 of the law provides that it applies to the processing of all types of personal information and to any natural and juridical person involved in personal information processing including those personal information controllers and processors who, although not found or established in the Philippines, use equipment that are located in the Philippines, or those who maintain an office, branch or agency in the Philippines.

Under sec 6 of the Act also applies to an act done or practice engaged in and outside of the Philippines by an entity if:

(a) The act, practice or processing relates to personal information about a Philippine citizen or a resident;

(b) The entity has a link with the Philippines, and the entity is processing personal information in the Philippines or even if the processing is outside the Philippines as long as it is about Philippine citizens or residents such as, but not limited to, the following:

(1) A contract is entered in the Philippines;

(2) A juridical entity unincorporated in the Philippines but has central management and control in the country; and

(3) An entity that has a branch, agency, office or subsidiary in the Philippines and the parent or affiliate of the Philippine entity has access to personal information; and

(c) The entity has other links in the Philippines such as, but not limited to:

(1) The entity carries on business in the Philippines; and

(2) The personal information was collected or held by an entity in the Philippines.

The law on the other hand does not apply to the following as provide for by sec. 4:

This Act does not apply to the following:

(a) Information about any individual who is or was an officer or employee of a government institution that relates to the position or functions of the individual, including:

(1) The fact that the individual is or was an officer or employee of the government institution;

(2) The title, business address and office telephone number of the individual;

(3) The classification, salary range and responsibilities of the position held by the individual; and

(4) The name of the individual on a document prepared by the individual in the course of employment with the government;

(b) Information about an individual who is or was performing service under contract for a government institution that relates to the services performed, including the terms of the contract, and the name of the individual given in the course of the performance of those services;

(c) Information relating to any discretionary benefit of a financial nature such as the granting of a license or permit given by the government to an individual, including the name of the individual and the exact nature of the benefit;

(d) Personal information processed for journalistic, artistic, literary or research purposes;

(e) Information necessary in order to carry out the functions of public authority which includes the processing of personal data for the performance by the independent, central monetary authority and law enforcement and regulatory agencies of their constitutionally and statutorily mandated functions. Nothing in this Act shall be construed as to have amended or repealed Republic Act No. 1405, otherwise known as the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act; Republic Act No. 6426, otherwise known as the Foreign Currency Deposit Act; and Republic Act No. 9510, otherwise known as the Credit Information System Act (CISA);

(f) Information necessary for banks and other financial institutions under the jurisdiction of the independent, central monetary authority or Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to comply with Republic Act No. 9510, and Republic Act No. 9160, as amended, otherwise known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act and other applicable laws; and

(g) Personal information originally collected from residents of foreign jurisdictions in accordance with the laws of those foreign jurisdictions, including any applicable data privacy laws, which is being processed in the Philippines.

However under sec. 5. of the law, it provides that nothing in this shall be construed as to have amended or repealed the provisions of Republic Act No. 53, which affords the publishers, editors or duly accredited reporters of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation protection from being compelled to reveal the source of any news report or information appearing in said publication which was related in any confidence to such publisher, editor, or reporter.

The passage of the law likewise empowered the Government as well as its agencies giving them authority to prosecute individuals,corporations etc. from gathering through illegal means and with bad faith, information owned by the Government and its agencies.

It created the National Privacy Commission which is provided by sec 7 to administer and implement the provisions of this Act, and to monitor and ensure compliance of the country with international standards set for data protection, there is hereby created an independent body to be known as the National Privacy Commission.

The commission has the following functions:

(a) Ensure compliance of personal information controllers with the provisions of this Act;

(b) Receive complaints, institute investigations, facilitate or enable settlement of complaints through the use of alternative dispute resolution processes, adjudicate, award indemnity on matters affecting any personal information, prepare reports on disposition of complaints and resolution of any investigation it initiates, and, in cases it deems appropriate, publicize any such report: Provided, That in resolving any complaint or investigation (except where amicable settlement is reached by the parties), the Commission shall act as a collegial body. For this purpose, the Commission may be given access to personal information that is subject of any complaint and to collect the information necessary to perform its functions under this Act;

(c) Issue cease and desist orders, impose a temporary or permanent ban on the processing of personal information, upon finding that the processing will be detrimental to national security and public interest;

(d) Compel or petition any entity, government agency or instrumentality to abide by its orders or take action on a matter affecting data privacy;

(e) Monitor the compliance of other government agencies or instrumentalities on their security and technical measures and recommend the necessary action in order to meet minimum standards for protection of personal information pursuant to this Act;

(f) Coordinate with other government agencies and the private sector on efforts to formulate and implement plans and policies to strengthen the protection of personal information in the country;

(g) Publish on a regular basis a guide to all laws relating to data protection;

(h) Publish a compilation of agency system of records and notices, including index and other finding aids;

(i) Recommend to the Department of Justice (DOJ) the prosecution and imposition of penalties specified in Sections 25 to 29 of this Act;

(j) Review, approve, reject or require modification of privacy codes voluntarily adhered to by personal information controllers: Provided, That the privacy codes shall adhere to the underlying data privacy principles embodied in this Act: Provided, further, That such privacy codes may include private dispute resolution mechanisms for complaints against any participating personal information controller. For this purpose, the Commission shall consult with relevant regulatory agencies in the formulation and administration of privacy codes applying the standards set out in this Act, with respect to the persons, entities, business activities and business sectors that said regulatory bodies are authorized to principally regulate pursuant to the law: Provided, finally. That the Commission may review such privacy codes and require changes thereto for purposes of complying with this Act;

(k) Provide assistance on matters relating to privacy or data protection at the request of a national or local agency, a private entity or any person;

(l) Comment on the implication on data privacy of proposed national or local statutes, regulations or procedures, issue advisory opinions and interpret the provisions of this Act and other data privacy laws;

(m) Propose legislation, amendments or modifications to Philippine laws on privacy or data protection as may be necessary;

(n) Ensure proper and effective coordination with data privacy regulators in other countries and private accountability agents, participate in international and regional initiatives for data privacy protection;

(o) Negotiate and contract with other data privacy authorities of other countries for cross-border application and implementation of respective privacy laws;

(p) Assist Philippine companies doing business abroad to respond to foreign privacy or data protection laws and regulations; and

(q) Generally perform such acts as may be necessary to facilitate cross-border enforcement of data privacy protection.

The processing of personal information shall be allowed, subject to compliance with the requirements of the Act and other laws allowing disclosure of information to the public and adherence to the principles of transparency, legitimate purpose and proportionality as provided for by sec 11.

The processing of sensitive personal information and privileged information shall be prohibited subject to exceptions as provided for by sec 13.

Sec 12 provides that the processing of personal information shall be permitted only if not otherwise prohibited by law, and when at least one of the following conditions exists:

(a) The data subject has given his or her consent;

(b) The processing of personal information is necessary and is related to the fulfillment of a contract with the data subject or in order to take steps at the request of the data subject prior to entering into a contract;

(c) The processing is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which the personal information controller is subject;

(d) The processing is necessary to protect vitally important interests of the data subject, including life and health;

(e) The processing is necessary in order to respond to national emergency, to comply with the requirements of public order and safety, or to fulfill functions of public authority which necessarily includes the processing of personal data for the fulfillment of its mandate; or

(f) The processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the personal information controller or by a third party or parties to whom the data is disclosed, except where such interests are overridden by fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection under the Philippine Constitution.


Untitled

The advancement of technology becomes more faster that new innovations as well as new ways of communication are introduced. Because of this, pictures, videos, comments, expression, and opinions, are well disseminated to the cyber space by only a click. These are only some of the few things we can get from accessing the wide web of the internet including the social networking sites which are viral in the net. People are well informed about news as well as simple things that happen even inside of someone’s private life.

However, the advantages that was brought by this mediums of communication includes that the negative repercations. Cyberspace, the Internet, the World Wide Web and its Netizens were often misunderstood by those who viewed from afar, this resulted in misconceptions and stereotypes.

The Philippine government is conscious about the need of its citizens for protection so the Anti Cyber Crime law was enacted. The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Republic Act No. 10175, was approved on 12 September 2012. It aims to address legal issues concerning online interactions and the Internet. Among the cybercrime offenses include cybersquatting, cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, illegal access to data and libel.

This law alarms the entire country through its controversial provisions about the punishment precribed in violation of certain acts. Social networking sites become a place of demonstration by all almost Filipinos to express thier views for the possible limiting of the freedom of expression and of the press. Ordinary citizens, news casters, writers announcers and all in the media sector will be at stake if such law will took effect. Even to those who are simply going with the flow people partcipated to condemn the controversial law.

Several petitions have been submitted to the Supreme Court questioning the constitutionality of the Act. [1] However, on October 2, the Supreme Court deferred on acting on the petitions, citing the absence of justices which prevented the Court from sitting en banc. The lack of a temporary restraining order meant that the law went into effect as scheduled on October 3.

On October 9, 2012, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order, stopping implementation of the Act for 120 days [2] In early December, 2012, the government requested the lifting of the TRO [3]

Since the law is so controversial in some of its provisions, proposals were made to repeal such law. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill crafting a Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom (MCPIF) that would replace the recently enacted but still controversial Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The R.A 10175 is a law that may be strike down by the court for its unconstitutionality. The law is overbreadth and vague unlike the Magna Carta which is to be a more comprehensive measure providing not just prohibited acts and penalties but also guarantees the rights and protection of Internet users in our jurisdiction. The MCPIF upholds the freedom of expression of Filipinos in cyberspace.

Even simple acts which are not so prohibited may send ordinary citizen behind bars because of ther vagueness. For instance, mere liking in an social networking site may be used to prosecute an offence. Such a click may mark a certain citizen to a charge.

Overbreadth is a principle of Judicial Review that holds that a law is invalid if it punishes constitutionally protected speech or conduct along with speech or conduct that the government may limit to further a compelling government interest. [4]

An analytical tool developed for testing “on their faces” statutes in free speech cases, also known under the American Law as First Amendment cases. The overbreadth doctrine is not intended for testing the validity of a law that reflects legitimate state interest in maintaining comprehensive control over harmful, constitutionally unprotected conduct. Claims of facial overbreadth are entertained in cases involving statutes which, by their terms, seek to regulate only spoken words and again, that overbreadth claims, if entertained at all, have been curtailed when invoked against ordinary criminal laws that are sought to be applied to protected conduct. Facial invalidation of laws is considered as manifestly strong medicine, to be used sparingly and only as a last resort, and is generally disfavored.

The reason for this is obvious. Embedded in the traditional rules governing constitutional adjudication is the principle that a person to whom a law may be applied will not be heard to challenge a law on the ground that it may conceivably be applied unconstitutionally to others, i.e., in other situations not before the Court. A facial challenge on the ground of overbreadth is the most difficult challenge to mount successfully, since the challenger must establish that there can be no instance when the assailed law may be valid. [5]

The Void for Vagueness doctrine on the otherhand has been formulated in various ways, but is most commonly stated to the effect that a statute establishing a criminal offense must define the offense with sufficient definiteness that persons of ordinary intelligence can understand that conduct is prohibited by the statute. It can only be invoked against that specie of legislation that is utterly vague on its face, i.e., that which cannot be clarified either by a saving clause or by construction. [6]

RA 10175 violates the right to privacy and the constitutional guarantee against illegal search and seizure, where authorities are allowed through warrantless real-time collection of traffic data.

The right of a man, together with his love-ones, is protected by the Bill of Rights under Article 3, Section 2 of the Philippine Constitution. It states that,

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizure of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. [7]

In contrast, the MCPIF ensures due process by providing strict guidelines for any collection of any data, including the securing of warrants, obligating notification and limiting seizure to data and excluding physical property.

R.A. 10175 while it provides for the freedom of speech and expression on the Internet, it also penalizes Internet libel and hate speech. Both libel is punishable under the same law and under the Revised Penal Code which is possible under the doctrine of mala in se and mala prohibita.

Mala in se (the singular is malum in se) is a term that signifies crime that is considered wrong in and of itself. The phrase is Latin and literally means wrong in itself. This class of crime is contrasted by crimes mala prohibita, the Latin term for “wrong because they are prohibited.” [8]

R.A 10175 is a special criminal law that punishes crime which are mala prohibita while the Revised Penal Code punishes mala in se crimes which may result to double jeopardy where two crimes can be prosecuted separately and at the same time.

The Magna Carta defines expressly the crimes punishable and only limits the libel offence into civil offenses that prevents double jeopardy to offenders.

In this regard, violators will only suffer the civil liability that was brought by the direct damage made to the reputation of the victim. Damages will be awarded to the victim. The scope of what offence will be funished are expressly provided for by law for the proper protection and implementation.

The process of the prosecution of the offence will be limited only to the procedures provided for by law. In R.A. 101 75, the authorities are given the power to collect data even without search warrant, notification to the violator or consent. Such is not within the ambit of fair play. Notice is a ingredient for a civilized society may adopt before the government can enter the private life of its citizen.

In handling a criminal case, the prosecution is always tasked to see to it that justice be done than prosecuting an innocent citizen in a violation supported by the evidence which are obtain in a manner that violates thier rights. It is basic under our Supreme law that the citizens are protected by thier persons and effects and such cannot be obtain without the consent of the latter. They have the right to be left alone and such will only be limited if proper procedure made.

Such evidence are in admissible and cannot be accepted in court in our jurisdiction nor may convict an innocent citizen if the process of gathering the necessary evidence violates the fundamental rights of the violators.

On the other hand, such was define in the Magna Carta which informs the public or users to be able to grasp the dimarcations where they have themselves in expressing thier views to matters that are proscribed. Scope of the offenece as well as rights of the victims are properly cited by the bill in its provisions.

Magna Carta For Internet freedom are brieftly explain as anchored on follows:

Senate Bill 3327 is titled, appropriately enough, “An Act Establishing a Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom, Cybercrime Prevention and Law Enforcement, Cyberdefense and National Cybersecurity.” Also known as the MCPIF to the netizens whose views helped shape the Bill, the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom is anchored on:

a. Rights

The MCPIF protects the civil and political rights of Filipinos, recognizing and asserting our guaranteed constitutional rights in cyberspace. Economic rights and consumer rights, especially as affected by the use of the Internet and information and communications technology (ICT), are also promoted and upheld.

b. Governance

The MCPIF promotes ICT in governance, translating into an empowered citizenry, a more efficient and responsive government, and more effective use and distribution of resources.

c. Development

The MCPIF provides government agencies with the mandate and the means to harness ICT for national development, thus promoting Philippine economic growth and ensuring Filipinos remain competitive in the information age.

d. Security

The MCPIF prepares Philippine law enforcement agencies and the armed forces for the current and emerging security challenges of the information age. It equips law enforcement with the capability to prevent, detect, and respond to cybercrime. With bolstered national defense and intelligence capabilities made possible through the MCPIF, the Philippines will be able to protect its critical infrastructure, reducing its vulnerability to attacks by cyber-terrorists and rogue or enemy states.

SBN 3327 has been referred to the Committee on Science and Technology for deliberations. It is expected that in the same spirit that animated the crafting of the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom, legislative deliberations will be enhanced by the active participation of the citizens online, and the other ICT stakeholders. The Internet has facilitated an unexpected next step in participatory democracy, and the forthcoming legislative process will harness that power. [9]

Endnotes

[1] Canlas, Jonas (27 September 2012). “Suits pile up assailing anti-cybercrime law”. The Manila Times. Retrieved 27 September 2012.

[2] Torres, Tetch (9 October 2012). “SC issues TRO vs cyber law”. Philippine Daily Inquirer (Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc.). Retrieved 9 October 2012.

[3] Phneah, Ellyne (11 December 2012). “Philippine govt asks court to lift injunction on Cybercrime Law”. ZDNet (ZDNet). Retrieved 19 December 2012.

[4] http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Overbreadth+Doctrine

[5] David vs. Arroyo, G.R. No. 171396, 3 May 2006

[6] http://phbar.org/wikilaw/index.php?title=Void_for_vagueness_doctrine

[7] http://legalnotes.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/article-iii-section-section-2-right-against-unreasonable-arrest-search-and-seizure/

[8] http://www.lectlaw.com/mjl/cl018.htm

[9] http://www.propinoy.net/2012/11/13/santiago-files-magna-carta-for-philippine-internet-freedom/


Do We Need to Amend the Copyright Law?

Intellectual rights are the main purpose of the Intellectual property law. Without such law, every scientist, inventors as well as writers and other intellectual people may no longer be encouraged to do or use their God given talents to explore and discover new things and create intellectual works for the benefit of many. However, this rights must be protected by the government as based on the policy and enshrine with the basic law of the land, the Philippine Constitution. No less than the 1987 Philippine Constitution recognizes the importance of intellectual property rights to the Filipinos and the country in general. The basic law of the land mandates that:

“The State shall protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artists, and other gifted citizens to their intellectual property and creations, particularly when beneficial to the people, for such period as may be provided by law.”

A LEGISLATIVE proposal which seeks to amend certain provisions of the Copyright Law or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines was deliberated. The purpose of the bill is to amends Copyright Law to fight piracy, intellectual theft.

Piracy is the unauthorized reproduction or use of a copyrighted book, recording, television program, patented invention, trademarked product, etc.: The record industry is beset with piracy. [1]

Intellectual theft is also another problem or crime that this amendment wants to resolve. Stealing intellectual property is cheap and easy. All a thief has to do is copy someone else’s ideas or product. The other person or company—the victim—has done all the work, but thieves can reap huge profits. Intellectual property theft can cost people their jobs, damage the reputation of the original maker of the counterfeited product, cause sickness and bodily harm, deprive governments of desperately needed tax revenue, and even result in the spread of organized crime and gangs—which in turn can damage more lives and destroy neighborhoods. It isn’t a victimless crime? [2]

But it’s not about picking a pocket or holding up a bank. It’s robbing people of their ideas, inventions, and creative expressions—what’s called intellectual property—everything from trade secrets and proprietary products and parts to movies and music and software.

It’s a growing threat—especially with the rise of digital technologies and Internet file sharing networks. And much of the theft takes place overseas, where laws are often lax and enforcement more difficult. All told, intellectual property theft costs U.S. businesses billions of dollars a year and robs the nation of jobs and lost tax revenues.

Preventing intellectual property theft is a top priority of the FBI’s cyber program. We specifically focus on the theft of trade secrets and infringements on products that can impact consumers’ health and safety, such as counterfeit aircraft, car, and electronic parts. Key to our success is linking the considerable resources and efforts of the private sector with law enforcement partners on local, state, federal, and international levels. [3]

In a way, we should know the importance of preventing piracy. For instance in software piracy, developing software is a team effort that involves the creative ideas and talents of development engineers, writers, and designers. Computer software, just like other creative works, is protected by U.S copyright laws, U.S. code Title 17 and 18.

Our goal is to accelerate the pace of discovery, innovation, development, and learning in engineering and science through the software we create. To this end, we make substantial and continuing research and development efforts, which are funded through the sales of our software products.
Software piracy hurts everyone because it:

  • Reduces the funding for ongoing development efforts
  • Reduces job opportunities
  • Allows for unauthorized copies of our software that may contain bugs and viruses to be used in the field
  • Prevents users from getting high-quality technical support and product updates

Piracy is not only a problem for MathWorks. It is an industry and worldwide issue. According to the BSA, Thirty-five percent of the packaged software installed on personal computers (PC) worldwide in 2005 was illegal, amounting to $34 billion in global losses due to software piracy.

Software Piracy is stealing. If you or your company were caught pirating software, you could be held liable under both civil and criminal law. If a copyright owner brings a civil action against you, the penalties in the U.S. may be up to $150,000 for each program copied. The U.S. government can also criminally prosecute you. If you are convicted, you can be fined up to $250,000, sentenced to jail for up to five years, or both. [4]

House Bill 3741, authored by Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro), will amend the Copyright Law (Republic Act 8293) through the integration of a comprehensive, swift, efficient and adequate strategies designed to respond to the criminal onslaught of internet piracy.

According to Rep. Rodriguez explained that the laws provisions have not kept pace with the awesome advances made in the area of intellectual rights-infringement in electronic commerce.

He added that the proposed measure also seeks to acknowledge the rights of performers, phonogram producers and broadcasters in the same breath as those accorded authors of artistic and literary works, so that they too will have control or be compensated for the various ways in which their works are used or enjoyed by others.

Quoting reports, Rep. Rodriguez said that based on the year 2000 figures, the software industry in the Philippines had lost about US$27.1 million or about P1.4 billion in revenues as a result of a 61 percent piracy rate, depriving the government of some P170 million in taxes; the sound recording industry estimated a piracy rate of 33 percent with losses amounting to US$ 1.3 million or P65 million; and the entertainment software industry estimated a piracy rate of 98 percent with losses amounting to US$41 million or about P2 billion.

Given these staggering realities, it is but necessary to retool the prevailing law by sharpening its focus, enlarging its protective coverage and reinforcing its potency to provide meaningful relief to victims of intellectual thievery and to strengthen current legal mandates to meet the challenges posed by new digital technologies thus hopefully averting the dangers proffered by the electronic environment, Rep. Rodriguez averred.

In the continuation of the Subcommittees deliberations on HB 3741, Lawyer Ramon Esguerra of the Intellectual Property Association of the Philippines (IPAP), Ed Sabalvoro of the National Book Development Board (NBDB) and Deputy Director General Andrew Ong of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) all expressed their full support to the bill.

Likewise, Lawyer Bienvenido Marquez of the Business Software Alliance (BSA) gave his support to the bill, saying that it will fully implement the World Intellectual Property Organizations (WIPO) Internet Treaties, the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).

The passage of this bill would result in the Philippines adopting a world-class copyright (law) that complies with the major international treaties related to copyright, including proper protection for copyright materials in the digital environment, Marquez said.

Rep. Duavit cited the ongoing consultations with the stakeholders in firming up the proposed amendments to the Copyright Law.

The Subcommittee is reviewing each provision in the bill and accepting recommendations to improve the same.

One of the provisions looked into is the one pertaining to the fair use of copyrighted work, wherein it states that any criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching including multiple copies for classroom use, scholarship, research and similar purposes is not an infringement of copyright.

The body agreed to expand this provision to include copies reproduced or distributed in a specialized format exclusively for the use of the blind or visually impaired persons, provided that such copies and distribution shall be made on a non-profit basis and shall indicate the copyright owner and the date of the original publication.

Incidentally, the same amendment is contained in HB 4217 filed by Rep. Irwin Tieng (Party List, BUHAY), which grants exemption from infringement those acts of reproduction or distribution of copies of published articles and materials exclusively for use of visually-impaired persons. This bill, which also seeks to amend the Copyright Law, is likewise being studied by the Subcommittee.

On the proposed amendment which grants the copyright owner exclusive right to import a work into the Philippines, it was suggested to the body that the copyright owner should also allow the exportation of the material unless it was obtained from a supplier outside the Philippines.

It was also suggested that the IPO establish an accreditation system for those designated by copyright owners or their heirs as their agents to enforce their economic rights or moral rights.

On the proposed amendment to the provision in the Copyright Law which limits the materials that can be registered and deposited with the National Library and the Supreme Court Library to traditional publications, and excludes all other literary, scholarly, scientific and artistic works, it was made clear during the meeting that only legal books must be deposited with the Supreme Court while all other books shall be kept with the National Library.

The body acknowledged a specific suggestion making mall owners, whose tenants are engaged in piracy or intellectual theft, liable as an accessory if they do not report such illegal activities to the proper authorities.

In its next meeting, the Committee agreed to continue its review of the remaining provisions of HB 3741.

The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines was enacted into law on January 1, 1998 to protect and secure the exclusive rights of scientists, inventors, artists and other gifted citizens to their intellectual property and creations.

The term intellectual property rights consists of copyright and related rights, trademark and service marks, geographic indications, industrial designs, patents, lay-out designs of integrated circuits and protection of undisclosed information. [5]

Piracy and intellectual theft are those problems that our government officials needs to control and prevent in amending the law. However, in my humble opinion, law cannot simply define the solution. In the changing innovations and new technologies that may be used to perpetuate such crime, it may possible that pirates and thieves are more knowledgeable than the law. The best solution for the legislator is to go with the intellectual thieves and pirates for them to know how the problem be prevented. A pirate or a theft knows very well his job which our government has no knowledge even enacting a law to prevent it.

A beautiful law enacted within the plenary of the Congress may be a good law in the eyes of every people that seek the refuge from the government. But is there really a refuge? Law are created to prevent the violation and fight for the existing rights of individual in the society. Without any teeth that will gnashed the violators is just like a book in a shelves that never speak. It must be a law that lives and exist.

In order to attain that, there should be the violators or thieves and pirates behind as the basis in crafting the law to be conceptualized in a practical and realistic manner.


[1] http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/piracy

[2] http://www.ncpc.org/topics/intellectual-property-theft

[3] http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/white_collar/ipr/ipr

[4] http://www.mathworks.com/company/aboutus/policies_statements/piracy.html

[5] http://www.congress.gov.ph/committees/commnews/commnews_det.php?newsid=1150

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