Wednesday, March 3, 2010

OF LEGALITIES (February 15, 2010)

One of the issues raised during the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Hour of Taboan: 2nd Philippine Writers Festival was the ever-unresolved conflicts regarding Intellectual Property Rights.
Copyright seemed to be a famous unknown during the conference organized by NCCA's Hope Yu and Arts Council of Cebu Foundation Inc.'s Mayen Tan at the Casino Espaňol de Cebu from February 10 to 12.
Intellectual property appeared to be a gray area among penpushers who transacted in a “trading post” or taboan of such topics as performance poetry which we tackled with Ariel Tabag and Bambi Beltran who treated us -- with Joey Baquiran, Mark Cayanan, Marne Kilates, Radel Paredes, Gerard Pareja, Larry Ypil, and some Bathalad poets -- to the “Jason Paul Laxamana Film Festival” at her Turtles' Nest Book Cafe fronting her Kukuk's Nest Garden Restaurant and Pension House in Lahug!
For the third leg of Taboan, perhaps in Davao City, may we propose to the NCCA Commissioner Ricardo de Ungria and the National Committee on Literary Arts that -- aside from recognizing outstanding writers from Mindanao – the writers' welfare be prioritized next year.
Probably NCCA should invite unsung heroes of the Workshop on the Management of Intellectual Property in the Book Publishing Industry: Reading the Fine Print which was held last 28-29 January at the Cultural Center of the Philippines and presented by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP Philippines) in cooperation with the CCP, National Book Development Board (NBDB), and the newest kid on the IPR block -- Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society (FILCOLS).Cebu's pride -- Atty. Andrew Michael S. Ong, IP Philippines' Deputy Director General -- reminded publishers and writers from various media as well as lawyers and copyright practictioners: “Copyright is one of the major intellectual property rights and is particularly significant because it is the bedrock of several industries. There is a need to raise awareness and respect for copyright among the general public and, among business insiders, a need to understand and appreciate copyright on a deeper level.”Christopher Kalanje -- WIPO Creative Industries Division's counsellor in Geneva, Switzerland -- was also there to explain the link between Intellectual Property and Creative Industries: “Why do we need to talk about Creative Industry? Everyone wants to be creative. In business, if you are not creative, you die.”
Precious Leaño, the workshop project director, was able to gather together an international cast of main characters: Santiago Mediano of Santiago Mediano Abogados in Madrid, Spain and Carolyne Morgan of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organization in Australia with our very own -- National Book Development Board's Atty. Andrea Pasion-Flores; Anvil Publishing's Karina Bolasco; IP Philippines's Atty. Louie Calvario, to name a few.
By the way, National Artist for Literature Virgilio Almario Lirio Sandoval, and Alvin Buenaventura -- FILCOLS chair, treasurer and executive director respectively -- who were all present during the two-day workshop at the CCP, succeeded in signing bilateral agreements with the reproduction rights organizations (RRO) of Australia, Argentina, Colombia, Mauritius, Nigeria, and Trinidad and Tobago.
Almario led the Philippine delegation to the annual general meeting of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO) held in Oslo, Norway last October.
Before some 227 delegates from 59 countries, FILCOLS – whose membership was approved on 3 June 2009 -- acted as the national RRO of the Philippines.
NBDB encouraged authors and publishers to establish an RRO in 2001 but, after its incorporation, the initial organization was mired due to its inability to generate enthusiasm and support among stakeholders.
In 2007, the NBDB and the IP Philippines helped the Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP) organize FILCOLS which was incorporated on 8 January 2008.
FILCOLS, due to a wider rights holder representation, received a three-year endorsement from the NBDB governing board on 26 March 2008 with former IP Philippines Director General Adrian Cristobal Jr. also promoting this young yet precocious society on 6 August 2008.
We, at the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) – preoccupied with our Writers Welfare Act and Writers Cooperative -- endorsed FILCOLS on 21 April 2008 while BDAP -- largest book industry association – through its president Lirio Sandoval who signed the official endorsement on 9 May 2008.
Other officers of FILCOLS are Karina Bolasco, vice chair; Isagani Cruz; Abdon Balde Jr.; Mariano Kilates; Erlinda Panlilio; Max Gomez; and Rolando de Vera.
Anyway, as artists, our struggle could be summarized by the aforementioned Japanese poem written by Pres. Aquino: Crosses and roses Make my life more meaningful I cannot complain.
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
Falling in love with your spouse wasn't hard. In fact, it was a Completely natural and spontaneous experience. You didn't have to do anything. That's why it's called "falling" in love... Because it's happening to you.
People in love sometimes say, " I was swept of my feet." Think about the Imagery of that expression. It implies that you were just standing there; doing nothing, and then something came along and happened to you.

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