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.

Registration or recordation of your works isn’t necessary but if you want physical proof to show a work is yours, you may want to deposit your copyrighted work with the National Library or with the IPOPHL. 


The creators of works protected by copyright hold the exclusive right to use or authorize others to use the work on agreed terms.


The right holder(s) of a work can authorize or prohibit: its reproduction in all forms, including print form and sound recording, public performance and communication to the public, broadcasting, translation into other languages, and  adaptation, such as from a novel to a screenplay for a film.


Works covered by copyright that can be deposited with IPOPHL are, but are not limited to: novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspapers, advertisements, computer programs, databases, films, musical compositions, choreography, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, architecture, maps and technical drawings.


To learn more about the works covered by copyright, refer to the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, Chapter II.


The term of protection for copyright in literary and artistic works, and in derivative works is generally the lifetime of the author plus fifty (50) years. Different rules may apply, however in:


- Works of joint authorship

- Works of anonymous or pseudonymous works

- Photographic works

- Works of applied art

- Audio-visual works


See how these are different in the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, Chapter XVI, Section 213.