New group seeks accreditation from IPO as collection agent for performers

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By Tom Noda A newly established group, called Performers? Rights Society of the Philippines (PRSP), is seeking to strengthen the copyright protection of Filipino artists as it formally applied for accreditation at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) to become a collective management organization (CMO). [caption id="attachment_21163" align="aligncenter" width="620"]PRSP officers led by musician John Lesaca (center) sumbits their accreditation paper to IPO Philippines chief Ricardo Blancaflor (2nd from left) PRSP officers led by musician John Lesaca (center) sumbits their accreditation paper to IPO Philippines chief Ricardo Blancaflor (2nd from left)[/caption] PRSP officers, led by its president Mitch Valdes, met with IPO director general Ricardo Blancaflor at the IPO office in Bonifacio Global City to submit the group’s CMO application. PRSP is a non-profit organization that functions as the collective arm for royalties of performers. It is also an umbrella group of Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit (OPM), Kapisanan ng Artista sa Pelikulang Pilipino at Telebisyon (KAPPT), (Asosasyon ng Musikong Pilipino (AMP), and Film Academy of the Philippines (FAP). PRSP entitles its members to be a part of a collective management organization that protects their economic rights and provides them representation in cases of copyright infringements. “Their end-target is the royalties they can earn from fellow performers,” Bancaflor said. “They will become the group that will now handle the interest of performers, whether in music and movies.” In her letter urging other local artists to join PRSP, Valdez revealed many artists are not aware of the laws that guarantee their rights to their works. “Ignorance of the law is not an excuse to forfeit your rights and let others exploit you and your works,” Valdez said. “Whatever our goals are as artists, the fact remains that other people profit from our works even if we do not want them to. When our works are disseminated to a bigger market, they become commodities for entrepreneurs to profit on.” She added there have been many sad stories of how artists fell victims to other people?s unscrupulous practices and those who trustingly signed contracts with provisions that virtually waived their rights in favor of other people. “Many of us have spent our entire professional lives perfecting our craft. Just like any other professionals or sectors of society, we contribute so much to nation-building not only through earned revenues through taxes but also to the formation of our cultural identity as a people. We deserve the same treatment that society accords its professionals and productive members,” Valdez said. Blancaflor said aside from music and film, copyright is also applicable in many industries such as broadcasting, sculpture, books, among others. Copyright protection in the Philippines is still effective 50 years after an artist dies. In his meeting with PRSP officers, Blancaflor said the IPO is presently updating a copyright industry study in 2006, which reported that 11 percent of formal employment in the Philippines is from copyright-based industries. ]]>

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