Think Before You Click: Are You Breaking Intellectual Property Laws?
by Chico Orange
Most people on the internet rely on royalty-free content in order to make their profiles look more appealing than others, however, are you really sure that these types of content are guilty-free delights? If you’re looking for ways on how to avoid copyright infringement on social media, then this article is for you.
Before you insert that image, use that sound effect, or hide away the silence with that royalty-free background music, here’s a short primer on what you can and cannot use for monetary purposes in accordance with Philippine National Laws.
What Laws Govern Intellectual Properties in the Philippines?
The main law that governs intellectual properties in the country is Republic Act (RA) 8293, or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. This specific law enumerates the guidelines to be followed when the designs and intellectual creations of other individuals are concerned in anothers’ personal or business use.
It defines the people or entities that it covers, the properties that may be trademarked, and the governing body that would determine what may or may not be licensed. It’s basically the main authority in the topic to be discussed in this primer.
Can I Use Royalty-Free Intellectual Properties?
Yes. You may use royalty-free properties, however, if such properties are suddenly trademarked, copyrighted, or claimed, then other companies may claim damages from you. A lot of third-party companies do this as a way to earn money without actually doing or creating anything. So unless you want others to profit off of your work, or claim damages from you that they don’t deserve, try to steer clear from royalty-free art, and just purchase their rights or have an artist make them for you.
What Types of Properties Are Covered Under RA 8293?
Under section four of the law, “the term intellectual property rights, consists of:
- a) Copyright and Related Rights;
- b) Trademarks and Service Marks;
- c) Geographic Indications;
- d) Industrial Designs;
- e) Patents;
- f) Layout-Designs (Topographies) of Integrated Circuits; and
- g) Protection of Undisclosed Information”
Therefore, anything that may be covered by the following documentations are covered by the Intellectual Property Code. This means that you should be careful when using background music, sound effects, graphic art, or architectural layouts for any purpose whatsoever.
If My Company Is Foreign, Will I Still Fall Under RA 8293?
Yes. Section three of the law provides that, “Any person who is a national or who is domiciled or has a real and effective industrial establishment in a country which is a party to any convention, treaty or agreement relating to intellectual property rights or the repression of unfair competition, to which the Philippines is also a party, or extends reciprocal rights to nationals of the Philippines by law, shall be entitled to benefits to the extent necessary to give effect to any provision of such convention, treaty or reciprocal law, in addition to the rights to which any owner of an intellectual property right is otherwise entitled by this Act.”
Simply put, as long as your origin country has diplomatic ties with the Philippines, and you do business here, then your intellectual properties, as well as the properties of other people that you may utilize, fall under the protection of the Law.
I Think I Accidentally Used Trademarked Intellectual Property, What Do I Do?
Under article 3 of the Civil Code states that, “Ignorance of the law excuses no one for compliance therewith.” Due to this, it won’t matter if you did or didn’t know how to avoid copyright infringement on social media before you actually “stole” someone’s work.
The best way to prevent any damage or claims from arising due to your actions, or your negligence, the best thing to do is to remove the property with conflict, and if you can’t, then settle with the owner extrajudicially. If you can purchase the rights from the owner without any excessive premiums, then it would do you better as a brand to just pay for the premiums. After all, you wouldn’t want others to hear about a petty case filed against your brand.
In perfecting how to avoid copyright infringement on social media, taking note of the Intellectual Property Code is a must. If you want to lessen the hitches that copyright infringement may bring upon your business, the best way to do so is to stay informed. After all, information is power.
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