climb

my law firm

it pays to have intelligent friends. i spoke about a couple of my pictures being published in a magazine without my consent, and although i’m a lawyer, i won’t pretend to know much about a field of law i am not an expert in. so i consulted my classmates about it. here was my query:
hi guys! jayps, and anyone else can help me regarding this matter. being differently inclined, i know close to nothing in so far as intellectual property law is concerned, so i’d like to ask those of us who are IP practitioners what remedies i have against a certain publication (magazine) which published my pictures without my consent, authority, and permission. the magazine, though, published my name as photo credits. what does the law say about this? i never gave copies of the pictures to the magazine. and it was clear that those pictures were taken as part of my personal collection. it was not commissioned. worse, i wasn’t paid. these days, recognition isn’t enough payment. what should i do? what does the law say? do i have a case against the publication? your input will be greatly appreciated. thanks guys. i’m glad i have experts like you to consult. :D

alman

first to send a response was spinero_solidum, a.k.a. atty michael vincent samson gaddi (whose LJ just celebrated its first anniversary. happy anniversary!). here’s what he said:
alman dude,

here’s my pedestrian reply as i am no expert in the
field. the least they could’ve done was to ask your
permission. i think basic ethics dictates this. even
though they put your name, i don’t think it’s enough.
if they asked you first and put your name, even
without paying you, i think that would’ve been more
ethical.

since they failed to get your permission (which is
duh, so basic), i think it’s just right for you to ask
for a bit of compensation. talk to them first and try
to settle things amicably, but with the thought that
they should suffer the consequenes of their follies.

i don’t think you need to file any case yet. try to do
things extra-legally first before resorting to any
legal remedy. after all, not every remedy is a legal
remedy. ;-)

=jing=

next to take time off his P3000 an hour time billings was atty. michael anthony dizon, UP law batch 2002’s class salutatorian. he said:
Dear Alman,

As a copyright owner of your pictures, you have certain exclusive rights such as
the right to publish or consent to the publication of your pictures. Assuming
that the publication is a commercial magazine and it used the same for
commercial purposes (fair use does not apply), then you have a cause of action
against the publication for copyright infringement. The mere fact that the
publication cited your name does not excuse copyright violation because you did
not give your consent. Furthermore, copyright vests automatically at the moment
of creation (no need to register or place labels like “All Rights Reserved”) so
the publication is presumed to know that you have copyright and it must get your
consent before they can publish your pictures. You may avail of the remedies
under sec. 216 of the Intellectual Property Code, which includes injuction,
damages, destruction of infringing materials, etc.

Bong

the third piece of legal advise comes from atty. marie cherylle hular, who’s also in the top 10 of my batch. here’s her take:
alman,

how did the magazine secure copies of your pictures?
were these previously published and does the concept
of “fair use” apply. i suggest that you also read
section 184.1 of the IPC and see if any of the
limitations on copyright apply to your case.

marie

haha. it pays to know a lot of lawyers. and a lot of really good lawyers too. my block rocks!
ang hirap talaga kapag abogado andaming nalalamang batas. kung isang mahirap o sabihin na natin isang ordinaryong tao na nasa katayuan mo, lumipas na ang isandaang taon, ay ignorante pa rin sya sa ganitong bagay. at kung sakali man e malamang, di na sya manghahabla pa, idadaan na lang sa mabuting usapan. magkano ba ang labanan. ganun lang yun. :D
Thank goodness that despite shunning law school, I still have lawyer-friends around. Haha.
the college of law's loss is the school of economics' gain. buti ka pa, you have the best of both worlds.
Noel Villaroman has a new book out. I think it's laws and jurisprudence on graft and corruption. Tama ba namang bentahan ako.
raul here
(Anonymous)
Hi Alman,

our website, www.ubelt.com, has similar experience. other websites copied our pictures without consent and posted them on their websites. there's even one website who copied our pictures without consent and didn't put any acknowledgement. i really want to be familiar with the copyright laws of the internet in the philippines.

by the way, very nice pictures!!!

keep it up!

see you on sat.

cheers,
raul
www.raulroa.tk
Re: raul here
hey raul. let me just say that you are not alone. this is one of the very common problems that's associated with the internet, particularly with internet publishing. there's always the risk that other sites might steal your work: pictures, words, etc. there are remedies under the law, of course. unfortunately, i am not the expert in the field, and i myself have to consult friends. i have to read the law too. there's the IPC (intellectual property code) and in your particular case, there's the electronic commerce law to deal with. why don't you write to these websites? if they have an identity, you might be able to pursue it. problem would be if they're just fly-by-night websites not associated with a company that's recognized (i.e., inq7.net, abs-cbn.com, peyups.com, etc.)

see you on saturday!