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  • Writer's pictureNick Redfearn

Philippines issues copyright Fair Use rules

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has released new fair use rules for creatives, educators and others.  These are statutory fair use guidelines from the Bureau of Copyright and Related Rights. Specifically, they clarify the exceptions and limitations for specific acts to be considered as statutory fair use. Exceptions and limitations are covered in Section 184 of the IP Code where specific acts are considered as limitations on copyright, given that using copyrighted work can be committed without violating an author’s exclusive economic rights.


Under the Philippine IP Code, fair use allows use of certain copyrighted work without permission from the holder “under certain factors.” The general principle of fair use is set out in Section 185 of the IP Code and states that copyright works are subject to exceptions or limitations that do not violate a copyright holder’s exclusive economic rights. Ephemeral reproductions are excluded as non violations. There are three components in the new regulation:


A. statutory fair use exceptions for private and non-profit performances, works for the visually impaired, news reporting, judicial proceedings, and several others.

B. fair use in quoting copyright works for news reports, academic materials and government works which must be decided taking into account 4 factors: the purpose and character of the use, the nature of the work, the amount taken and the effect on a work’s potential market. Interestingly broadcast news includes vlogging. Essentially such users should seek permission and pay royalties unless they fall within the exception.

C. other issues outside Section 184, relating to works of architecture, private reproduction, reprographic reproduction by libraries and adaptation of computer programs.


The approach follows a more US centric approach applying standards to fair use, rather than an exhaustive set of circumstances as tends to happen in Europe.

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