Copyright laws crucial for pandemic-hit 'creative economy': IPOPHL

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 07 2021 05:17 PM | Updated as of Jun 08 2021 03:18 PM

Members of K-pop boy band BTS pose for photographs during a photo opportunity promoting their new single 'Butter' in Seoul, South Korea, May 21, 2021. Kim Hong-Ji, Reuters/File

MANILA - Ramping up copyright protection is crucial for artists and creatives who were badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, an official of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said Monday as the agency prepares to host the first Philippine International Copyright Summit in November. 

Copyright ensures that creators are rightfully compensated for their work wherever they specialize in, IPOPHL Director General Rowel Barba said in a virtual briefing. 

"Scaling up copyright appreciation in the country is very urgent today given that the creative economy was hit the hardest from this pandemic’s quarantine," Barba said.

“When we talk about exponential growth and penetrating the global stage, particularly for the entertainment industry, many of us look up to the raging K-Pop phenomenon," he added.

Barba said many artists noted the South Korean group BTS and their chart-topping hits that penetrated the Western markets as well as the Korean film Parasite which bagged 4 awards at the 2020 Academy Awards. 

BTS, who recently launched another English song titled 'Butter', could inject billions of dollars into South Korea's economy and generate jobs. 

The group's first full English song "Dynamite" was expected to generate some $1.4 billion for the economy, data from South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism earlier showed.

If BTS licensed materials and other international stars can reap the benefits of copyright laws, Filipino actors should be able to do the same, said Actress and President of the Performers Rights Society of the Philippines's Mitch Valdes.

"What we collected helped so much in the one year of pandemic, because the little that we collected in our existence
we were able to distribute to performers, musicians who were struggling and out of work because of the pandemic. That is what it does. You can look at the top 1 percent who have a 'Kardashian’ life. But let me assure you, 99 percent are struggling," Valdes said.

The summit could help improve the country's copyright laws and the "complicated" licensing for digital service providers in the country, said Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (FILSCAP) Trustee Noel Cabangon.

There could be more old Filipino songs on Spotify if the laws are clear, he said.

The country's first Philippine International Copyright Summit will run on Nov. 22-26. 

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-- with a report from Agence France-Presse and Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News