Copyright FAQs


What is copyright?

Copyright is the legal protection extended to the owner of the rights in an original work. “Original work” refers to every production in the literary, scientific and artistic domain.

Among the literary and artistic works enumerated in the IP Code includes books and other writings, musical works, films, paintings and other works, and computer programs.

Copyright laws grant authors, artists and other creators automatic protection for their literary and artistic creations, from the moment they create it.

Who owns the copyright?

Generally, the author of the work holds the copyright to it but different rules may apply in the following situations:

  • The work was created during and under the course of employment
  • The employee owns the copyright if it was created
  • The work is commissioned

The copyright belongs to different stakeholders in audiovisual works (producer, author of a scenario, music composer, film director, author of the work adapted into the audiovisual form) but subject to stipulations by the creators.

In joint authorship,the co-authors are the copyright holders and in the absence of an agreement, rules of co-ownership applies ,except if the work’s parts can be used separately, and the corresponding authors can be identified in which case, each author has copyright over his own part.

To learn more about copyright ownership,Refer to the Intellectual Property Code, Law on Copyright Chapter IV

What are rights covered by copyright?

Copyright protects both original and derivative works.

“Original work” refers to every production in the literary, scientific and artistic
domain. The literary and artistic works include: books and other writings,
music, paintings, sculptures, movies, photos, ornamental designs, computer
programs and other literary and artistic works.

“Derivative work” refers to works based upon one or more preexisting
works. It includes dramatizations, translations, adaptations, abridgments,
collections of literary, scholarly or artistic works.

What are two types of rights under copyright?


  • Economic – Rights that enable the author to earn from his work, and gives him control over the use of it, such as in its:
    • Reproduction
    • Transformation First public distribution
    • Rental
    • Public display
    • Public performance
    • Other communication to the public of the work.
  • Moral – Rights that govern the author’s connection to his work
    • Right of Attribution
    • Right of Alteration
    • Right of Integrity (object to any prejudicial distortion)
    • Right to restrain use of his name.

What are rights related to copyright?

Persons / entities other than the author of a work, by virtue of their contributing substantial creative, technical or organizational skill in the process of making the work available to the public, are also vested with related rights or neighboring rights

These rights are those enjoyed by (a) performers; (b) producers of sound recordings; and (c) broadcasting organizations.

These are discussed in detail in the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, Law on Copyright, Chapter XII

What are the limitations of copyright? (fair use)

Copyright protection is not intended to give the copyright owner absolute control over all possible exploitation of his work. The law provides for limitations (“statutory fair uses”) on the economic rights of authors comprising of acts which do not constitute copyright infringement even if done without the consent of the copyright holder.

These limitations are enumerated in the Intellectual Property Code, Law on Copyright Chapter VIII.

What constitutes  ‘fair use’ of a copyrighted work varies from case to case, as shown by decisions of the Supreme Court.

What constitutes copyright violation?

Copyright infringement occurs when there is a violation of the economic rights granted to the copyright owner, or to the owners of related rights. It may also consist in aiding or abetting such infringement.

Is there a copyright law on the internet?

Yes. The Philippines had acceded to the WIPO Copyright Treaty and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (collectively known as the “WIPO Internet Treaties” in March 2002. The treaties entered into force here on October 4, 2002. The Internet Treaties were formulated to update and improve the protection afforded by the existing copyright treaties. They ensure that the copyright holders will continue to be protected when their works are disseminated
through the Internet.

What copyrighted works may be deposited with IPOPHL?

(a) Books, pamphlets, articles and other writings

(b) Periodicals and newspapers

(c) Lectures, sermons, addresses, dissertations prepared for oral delivery, whether or not reduced in writing or other material form

(d) Letters

(e) Dramatic or dramatico-musical compositions; choreographic works or entertainment in dumb shows

(f) Musical compositions, with or without words

(g) Works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving, lithography or other work of art; models or designs for works of art

(h) Original ornamental designs or models for articles of manufacture, whether or not registrable as an industrial design, and other works of applied art

(i) Illustrations, maps, plans, sketches, charts and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science

(j) Drawings or plastic works of a scientific or technical character

(k) Photographic works including works produced by a process analogous to photography; lantern slides

(l) Audiovisual works and cinematographic works and works produced by a process analogous to cinematography or any process for making audio-visual recordings

(m) Pictorial illustrations and advertisements

(n) Computer programs

(o) Other literary, scholarly, scientific and artistic works.


What are the requirements in depositing copyrighted works?

How to apply for copyright deposit?

See the step-by-step procedure on how to deposit your copyrighted works with IPOPHL here.

How much is the copyright deposit fee?

  • Php460 (Small entities with 100M worth of assets or less) 
  • Php635 (Big entities with more than P100M worth of assets)

Note: Fee (Php) inclusive of 1% Legal Research Fund (LRF). Other charges may apply depending on the progress of your application

What are the modes of payment?


Direct payment to the IPOPHL cashier

2. Online:

  • Online payment through Dragonpay

Choosing how to pay the application is included in the last step of the e-Filing system.


How will I know if my online application was received by IPOPHL?

An electronic copy of the Statement of Account (SOA) and PDF copy of the application form will be sent to the email account of applicant or agent, in real time.

Who to contact regarding my copyright application?

Please call (02) 238-6300 local 8301

We’re working hard to answer your queries, please note that this page will be updated from time to time. Got urgent concerns? Send us a message at