[talk-ph] On public domain data in the Philippines

Eugene Alvin Villar seav80 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 28 16:05:59 GMT 2009

Hi Maning,

Please see section 176.1 of the Intellectual Property Code of the
Philippines (http://www.chanrobles.com/legal7copyright.htm). It says there:

No copyright shall subsist in any work of the Government of the Philippines.
> However, prior approval of the government agency or office wherein the work
> is created shall be necessary for exploitation of such work for profit. Such
> agency or office may, among other things, impose as a condition the payment
> of royalties.

The "no copyright" phrase is probably intended to mean "public domain" (a la
the U.S. copyright law) but the subsequent condition of a requirement of
prior approval for commercial purposes means that this is definitely NOT
public domain. There's actually a contradiction by saying "no copyright"
followed by a "prior approval ... is necessary".

Now, I'm not sure whether the "Government of the Philippines" means every
government agency, including local government units, or simply the National
Government. But if, say, Naga City says that their data is in the public
domain, then it probably is, overriding the provisions of the IPC.

This is something that has been bugging the Filipino Wikipedian community
for several years now. We actually plan to lobby for the repeal of this
"prior approval" clause so that works by the Philippine Government will
truly be in the public domain. But we have to set-up Wikimedia Philippines
first to give the lobby a legal entity.


On Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 2:51 PM, maning sambale
<emmanuel.sambale at gmail.com>wrote:

> Eugene,
> I vaguely remember during our meet-up in Grappas that you were
> discussing something about the use of public domain data in the
> Philippines.  You mentioned that data in the public domain as defined
> in the Philippines cannot be used for commercial purposes.  Did I get
> this right?
> Please clarify.
> --
> cheers,
> maning
> ------------------------------------------------------
> "Freedom is still the most radical idea of all" -N.Branden
> wiki: http://esambale.wikispaces.com/
> blog: http://epsg4253.wordpress.com/
> ------------------------------------------------------

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