The Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), an attached agency of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), recently received a new application from the Performers’ Rights Society of the Philippines (PRSP) for accreditation as Collective Management Organization (CMO).

PRSP formally submitted their documentary requirements at the IPOPHL for accreditation as CMO to help the performer enforce his rights under Republic Act No. 8293 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, as amended (IP Code).

Performers, as defined by Section 202 of the IP Code, are the actors, singers, musicians, dancers, and other persons who act, sing, declaim, play in, interpret, or otherwise perform literary and artistic work.

In the PRSP context, performers derive their income from performing in their various fields of expertise in culture.

“PRSP is the group that will now handle the interest of performers whether it’s in songs or in movies. Now they are applying with us because they want to be a CMO,” IPOPHL Director General Ricardo Blancaflor explained, “This is a group that will start collecting royalties for its members and their target is the royalties that they can earn for their fellow actors and performers.”

CMOs are organizations that enforce the copyright of the copyright holders. Through this mandate, IPOPHL will be able to monitor and promote good corporate governance among CMOs, benefitting not only the rights holders themselves but also the users of copyrighted works.

Members of the Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), mall owners, restaurants, and other heavy users of music in their establishments will greatly benefit from this provision, as they are ensured that only legitimate collecting agencies can collect royalties from them on behalf of copyright owners.

“Once we accredit them (PRSP), they have the right to negotiate for the royalties of the performers. So instead of individual performers running after producers, it will be the organization that will do it for them,” Blancaflor added.

As CMO, PRSP will initially release the collection directly to the performer once a year but as the operation progresses, distribution can be done twice or more in a year which will last for fifty (50) years from the end of the year in which the performances and recordings took place.

“This will be our legacy to our fellow performers,” said John Lesaca, the PRSP’s Treasurer and Acting General Manager, as their organization strengthen the copyright protection of many Filipino artists.

IPOPHL has already accredited the Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society (FILCOLS) and the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (FILSCAP) as CMOs collecting fees for books and musical works, respectively.

In a 2006 World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) study on copyright industries, it showed that Philippine copyright-based industries contribute 4.92% to the GDP and 11.1% to national employment of the country.