Alarmed by the blatant disregard of intellectual property rights (IPR) in campaign jingles, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) has called on poll candidates to pay the necessary royalties for the songs they are using in their campaign.
The IPOPHL noted that it is common practice among those running for public office to use a song that is already familiar with the voters.
?Obviously, these jingles are covers of pop hits modified to sing praises of a candidate,? the agency said. ?Not only that, no campaign sortie would be complete without singing and dancing, either by the supporters or the candidates themselves.?
The IP Office stressed, however, that songs — both lyrics and melody — are protected by copyright, which generally belong to the composers.
?As copyright owners, they alone have the right to authorize or prohibit, among others, the making of copies (reproduction), the modification (transformation), and public playing (public performance) of their musical compositions,? it said.
For this reason, the agency said the songwriter?s consent is needed before creating a jingle based on their works — including the singing of a song, or dancing along to it, during the campaign program.
Consent, it noted, is given by way of contract usually involving the payment of fees generally known as ?royalties.?
The composers may choose to license, sell, or assign their copyright ownership to others, like music publishers or collective management organizations, in which case, it is the latter who now have the right to give the necessary permission for the use of the music, it said.
?The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines reminds everyone, particularly the candidates and their supporters, to respect the copyright of songwriters and composers. Those running for public office must serve as role models for the protection and enhancement of these property rights,? the agency warned.