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Copyrights & Copyright Registration

Frequently Asked Questions


What is a copyright?
Copyright is an “intangible, incorporeal right granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions whereby he is invested, for a limited period, with the sole and exclusive privilege of multiplying copies of the same and publishing and selling them” (Sibal, 1986).

How is copyright different from a patent?
Patent is a grant issued by the government giving an inventor the exclusive right to exclude others from making, using, importing, and offering for sale the product of his invention.

What works are protected by copyright?

The following original works are protected by copyright:

  • Books, pamphlets and other writings
  • Periodicals and newspapers
  • Lectures, sermons, addresses, dissertations prepared for oral delivery; whether or not reduced in writing or other material form
  • Letters
  • Dramatic or dramatico-musical composition (T.V. or movie scripts), choreographic works or entertainment in dumb shows
  • Musical compositions, with or without works
  • Works of drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, engraving, lithography or other works of art, models or designs of work of art
  • Original ornamental designs or models for articles of manufacture; whether or not registrable as an industrial design, and other works of applied art
  • Illustrations, maps, plans, sketches, charts and three-dimensional works relative to geography, topography, architecture or science
  • Drawings or plastic works of a scientific or technical character
  • Photographic works and cinematographic works and works produced by a process analogous to photography; lantern slides
  • Audiovisual works and cinematographic works produced by a process analogous to cinematography or any process for making audio-visual recordings
  • Pictorial illustrations and advertisements
  • Computer programs
  • Other literary, scholarly, scientific and artistic works

The following derivative works are also protected by copyright:

  • Dramatizations, translations, adaptations, abridgments, arrangements, and other alterations of literary or artistic works;
  • Collections of literary, scholarly or artistic works, and compilations of data and other materials which are original by reason of the selection or coordination or arrangement of their contents.

What works are not protected by copyright?

  1. Idea
  2. Procedure
  3. System method or operation
  4. Concept
  5. Principle
  6. Discovery or mere data as such, even if they are expressed, explained, illustrated or embodied in the work
  7. News of the day and other miscellaneous facts having the character of mere items of press information
  8. Any official text of a legislative, administrative or legal nature
  9. Official translation of any official legislative, administrative or legal text

Who owns the copyright of a particular work?
As a general principle under the UP System IPR Guidelines, copyright of all works shall remain with the creator, except in cases of institutional or collaborative works.

What will be my rights as a copyright holder?
You will have the exclusive right to carry out, authorize or prevent the following acts:

  • Reproduction of the work or substantial portion of the work (making copies);
  • Dramatization, translation, adaptation, abridgment, arrangement or other transformation of the work;
  • The first public distribution of the original and each copy of the work by sale or other forms of transfer of ownership;
  • Rental of the original or a copy of an audiovisual or cinematographic work, a work embodied in a sound recording, a computer program, a compilation of data and other materials or a musical work in graphic form, irrespective of the ownership of the original or the copy which is the subject of the rental;
  • Public display of the original or a copy of the work;
  • Public performance of the work; and
  • Other communication to the public of the work.

How long does copyright protection last?
The copyright for a work shall be protected during copyright holder’s lifetime and for fifty (50) years after his/her death.

What are institutional works?  Who is the owner of such works?
The University shall have exclusive ownership over institutional works.  Institutional works include:

    • works that are supported by a specific allocation of University funds or other resources other than the usual salary and resources made available to every faculty, student, or staff;
    • works created at the direction and control of the University through its officials for the purpose of a specific project or purpose;
    • works whose authorship cannot be attributed to one or a discrete number of authors despite the application of processes prescribed under these rules;
    • works whose authorship cannot be attributed to one or a discrete number of authors because it is the result of simultaneous or sequential contributions over time by multiple authors;
    • works created through substantial use of University resources such as libraries, research facilities, buildings, utilities, equipment, tools and apparatus, including services of its employees working within the scope of their activities not for University purposes but for the personal gain or advantage of the faculty, research staff, or student involved.1 

Is it possible for the University to waive its Copyright ownership?
Yes.  In the event that the University fails or decides not to publish or exhibit a work within one year from its disclosure, its copyright is automatically waived in favor of the creator.

Who may seek UP support for Copyright Registration?
Under the UP IPR policy, all University of the Philippines faculty, researchers, administrative personnel, and students, including visiting researchers, faculty, and students may seek UP support for copyright registration.

Where and when can I apply for copyright registration?
The Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Development (OVCRD) through its Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Section assists UP Diliman personnel undertaking R&D activities in the protection (patenting/copyright registration), marketing or licensing of their work.  The office is open Mondays to Friday, from 8:00 am. to 12:00 nn. and 1:00 pm. to 5:00 pm., except on public holidays.  Tel. No. 981-8500 loc. 8763; Fax: 927-2568; E-mail:

If you wish to have exploratory talks with the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development and the Research Dissemination and Utilization Office Director, just contact the numbers above.

What do I need to submit?

  • Letter to the Vice-Chancellor for Research and Development requesting assistance to register copyright
  • Two (2) copies of accomplished Copyright Information Form2
  • Two (2) copies of accomplished Copyright Application Form
  • Two (2) copies of accomplished Deed of Assignment
  • Three (3) printed copies of the published work; or if the is work unpublished, two (2) copies of the manuscript

What is the protocol for seeking UP support for copyright registration?
Please see flowchart and Requirements from the National Library.


  1. Basic IP Information retrieved from
  2. Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines
  3. Primer on Governing Principles and Policies on Intellectual Property Rights of the University of the Philippines
  4. UP System IPR Guidelines (approved on 26 May 2003)
Compiled by:  May DC. Japson
Reviewed by: Dr. Corazon D. Villareal
In consultation with:  Atty. Vyva Victoria M. Aguirre

This is not a comprehensive legally precise document in seeking assistance for copyright registration but rather a quick guide to inform faculty and researchers of the University.

1 There is a presumption of substantial use of University resources if the work has in any way been done during official work hours or within the premises of the University and is related to unauthorized outside teaching or the practice of profession without the requisite permission.

2 Completion of Copyright Information Form will assist OVCRD in giving a sound assessment on matters relating to ownership, rights and obligations of the author/s.  It covers specific copyright issues and concerns.