GMA News Online

Aquino signs IP Code amendments into law

March 6, 2013 7:30pm

President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday signed amendments to the Intellectual Property Code without vetoing some of its controversial measures.

Aquino signed Republic Act (RA) 10372 into law on February 28, according to a copy of the law sent by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) to the media.

The Senate ratified the amendments on December 11 last year after they were approved in the bicameral conference on November 19.

The revised law was criticized for its omission of key provisions on personal use.

However, IP rights lawyer Atty. Louie Calvario had earlier told GMA News Online that the deletion of the “personal use provision” in the revised law actually enables Filipinos to bring home any number of copyrighted materials as they want, so long as these are “legally bought” and not pirated.

According to Section 190 of the unrevised Republic Act 8293, there is no need to seek permission from the copyright owner as long as the material is only for personal use, meaning it “is not for sale but for the use only of any religious, charitable, or educational society or institution duly incorporated or registered, or is for the encouragement of the fine arts, or for any state school, college, university, or free public library in the Philippines.”
The same section said Filipinos may take home not more than three materials.
But with the updated law, “(a)ng epekto 'nun is pwede na kayong makapagdala ng kahit ilang libro pa, basta iyon is legally binili niyo sa ibang bansa at hindi naman siya pirated,” Calvario said.
Calvario added that the amendments make the law even more “liberal” instead of strict.
“Ang intention namin rito is to make it even more liberal po. Yung sinasabi ni Ms. (Raissa) Robles na bawal na ngayong magdala rito even for personal use ng mga libro and other copyrighted materials, hindi po 'yun ang ibig sabihin nung amyenda sa batas,” he explained. — BM/TJD, GMA News

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