The LESI Copyright Committee, LES Philippines, and LES Singapore jointly held the "LESI Copyright Forum 2021" on March 26, 2021, via Zoom Meeting.
Different issues and updates about copyright were discussed to provide better knowledge in protecting the creator's rights. Emerson Cuyo, Director IV of the Bureau of Copyright and Other Related Rights of the Philippines' Intellectual Property Office (IPOPHL), spoke about the challenges and recommendations in preserving copyrights under Philippine law. Emerson expounded on the rights, legislative framework, and office enforcement in his talk. He elaborated on the creators' rights include economic rights, moral rights, and the right of resale. Performers, sound recording producers, and broadcast organizations have the same right as the authors, Emerson added.
Mark Thursday Alciso, General Manager of the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP), briefly talked about the effects of COVID-19 on music composition licensing in the Philippines. According to Mark, one of the significant challenges that the FILSCAP encountered was licensees terminating their license or requesting a discount in fees due to the government's restrictions to operate in entertainment establishments despite having minimal revenue on their end. Adjusting to the situation, FILSCAP subscribed to online services and devoted more resources to digital licensing. Mark also recounted that FILSCAP gave financial assistance to its members during the height of the lockdowns.
Tony Yeo, Managing Director of Intellectual Property for Drew & Napier Singapore, shared his experience in representing the Golden Village Multiplex Pte Ltd, Singapore's leading cinema operator, in a suit initiated by Composers and Authors Society of Singapore Limited (COMPASS). The dispute between the two parties involved the payment of royalties for musical works' public performance at one of the Golden Village's cinemas. The Golden Village terminated the contract with COMPASS for the accusation that the defendant did not have the right to administer copyright in all musical works in the movies. On the other hand, COMPASS misinterpreted their ownership of said musical works.
During the Q&A moderated by Jose Angelo Tiglao of LES Philippines, the speakers were asked about the youth's role in the IP world. Emerson answered that the youth will be the "Artists of Tomorrow" and that young people should learn more about their rights and respect the copyright, particularly on social media platforms. On the other hand, Mark emphasized that the youth should learn how to maximize the protection given to work, including commercializing and going beyond licensing.
Tony also gave some suggestions to every inventor and artist. From the example that he shared in his talk, Tony said that both parties have duties independently. The terms and conditions in a given contract should be understood by the parties carefully. The agreement should be likewise clear to prevent this kind of dispute.
Audrey Yap, President of LES International, opened the webinar. The Presidents of LES Philippines and Singapore, Bienvenido Marquez III and Lionel Tan welcomed the virtual attendees before presenting the speakers. About 100 participants from the Philippines, Singapore, Australia, USA, Malaysia, Netherlands, China, South Africa, Switzerland, Hong Kong, and Thailand joined forum.
Certificates of appreciation were awarded to the speakers by Joseph Carlo Vergel of LES Philippines. The Chair of LESI Copyright Committee, Johan du Preez, gave his closing remarks before ending the forum. The forum was serenaded by Judge Loste of the Manila Symphony Junior Orchestra during the socials.