11 April 2016Copyright

Philippines IPO issues copyright warning for election campaigns

The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines has issued a reminder that the copyright of songwriters and composers be respected during the presidential election period.

Candidates and their supporters have been asked to respect copyright, with the office adding that “those running for public office must serve as role models for the protection and enhancement of these property rights”.

The general election, due to take place on May 9, 2016, will be contested by five candidates.

The reminder made it clear that both lyrics and melodies are protected by copyright and that only authors have the right to permit or prohibit the copying, modification and public performance of their songs.

“Some are funny. Some are heart-rending. Some may even be provocative. Surely, every election period produces memorable campaign jingles,” said the office.

“For sure, to be a politician in the Philippines means not only being able to convince people about one’s programme of government but also doing so in a memorable and entertaining way.

“But we often ask: don’t they sound familiar? Obviously, these jingles are covers of pop hits modified to sing praises of a candidate,” it added.

The office explained that for this reason, a songwriter’s consent is required before creating a jingle based on its work, or singing or dancing along to the song during the campaign programme.

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