IPOPHL sharpens writers’, publishers’ know-how in protecting IP

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), through its Bureau of Copyright and Related Rights (BCRR), recently completed a coaching workshop and saw the publication of the first copyright guide book for writers, both geared to expand writers and publishers’ knowledge on the copyright system and ensure they benefit optimally when their works hit the markets.

The e-book “The Written Property,” touted as the first book on copyright to guide writers in the Philippine publishing industry, was virtually launched earlier this month by the Freelance Writers’ Guild of the Philippines (FWGP) in collaboration with the BCRR.

The e-book provides comprehensive answers to the most common questions freelance writers and publishers have on copyright, which range across the basics of copyright law, protected works and derivative works and remedies against copyright infringement.

“The copyright law can be complex, especially for writers who are just starting to get their works published. The writers and lawyers who have worked on this book actually wished they had such a guide when they were starting their writing careers so as to have made more intelligent and informed decisions on the publishing contracts that they had previously entered into,” BCRR Director Emerson G. Cuyo said.

“We offer ‘The Written Property’ to provide writers a sense of certainty to brave the different but exciting world of getting their works out there. We want them to know what intellectual property (IP) considerations they should look out for or should include in a contract and what they can do in the face of misunderstanding or even malign practices,” Cuyo added.

The Written Property project forms part of the BCRR’s Copyright Plus Program, which aims to help marginalized and underrepresented sectors in the local creative industry. It was proposed by Beverly “Bebang” Siy, a copyright advocate and the author of the autobiography series “It’s a Mens World” and “It’s Raining Mens.”

The FWGP took charge of drafting the guide book with the BCRR as one of its editors especially on aspects of the copyright law.

The e-book can be downloaded through this link for P200. A printed version will be available for sale in the coming months.

Aside from deploying a copyright guide, the BCRR recently conducted this March a hybrid coaching activity for young future writers and publishers in partnership with the World IP Organization (WIPO).

The event aims to help writers and publishers develop, publish and market their books while sufficiently protecting what they can reap from their moral and economic rights over the present and future sales of their copyrighted works.

The endeavor is part of the WIPO Response to COVID-19: Supporting Access to Education in a Safe and Healthy IP Ecosystem Project, which aims to aid students and teachers by providing access to needed educational and reference materials in physical and digital formats.

“As the coaching event encourages the publication of new books, it can boost our nation’s educational system with the publication of much-needed educational materials,” IPOPHL Director General Rowel S. Barba said.

The one-day coaching event featured renowned authors and publishing experts as lecturers who shared their knowledge and experience in starting a career in book writing and publishing.

Headlining the local speakers were Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, children’s book author and chair of the National Council for Children’s Television; Dr. Cheeno Marlo Sayuno, assistant professor of the University of the Philippines Los Baños’ Department of Humanities; and Vida Cruz-Borja, fantasy and science fiction author.

International experts Ji-Woong Kang, editor and chief editor of Science Magazine EPI, and Hye-Sook Kang, professional illustrator and writer for children’s books also talked about their experiences.

Around 250 writers and publishers took part in the hybrid workshop, gaining a better grasp of the IP system and its links to a successful publishing career.

Director of WIPO’s Copyright Development Division Gao Hang expressed her gratitude to the speakers for sharing their experiences and to writers for their active participation in the event.

“Please continue writing, creating and publishing. The world, especially our young readers, is looking forward to more books and publications,” Hang said virtually. (IPOPHL)