MANILA, Philippines - The works of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal are now part of the public domain as his copyright over his writings and sculptures have lapsed on December 30, 1946, the International Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said.
This means that his works, which include his famous novels Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo, may be freely used without the need to pay royalties.
Under the Intellectual Property (IP) Code, the copyright of authors and artists runs during the entire lifetime of the creators and expires 50 years after their death.
Since Rizal died on December 30, 1896 by firing squad at Bagumbayan, his copyright lapsed on December 30, 1946.
IPOPHL is hoping that a bill will be passed allowing for the "perpetual recognition of an author or artist's moral copyright."
In a statement, IPOPHL explained that there are 2 aspects to a copyright--economic and moral.
"Economic right pertains to the commercial benefits derived from the work, and may be waived, assigned or licensed away by the author or artist. The moral aspect of copyright pertains to the by-line or the right of the author to be recognized as such," IPOPHL said.
Under the IP Code, both moral and economic rights of authors and artists last up to 50 years after the creators' death.