By Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat
Artists have complained that only two candidates in the upcoming May elections have secured license to play their copyrighted music while the rest unabashedly use their music in their various political sorties.
According to the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (FILSCAP), only two political candidates have secured public performance license. As of April 12, FILSCAP said, only senatorial hopeful Christopher “Bong” Go and mayoral candidate “Jon Wilfredo “JT” Trinidad have secured the necessary license from FILSCAP to play copyrighted music in their campaign rallies.
FILSCAP, a collective management organization accredited by the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) to license the public playing of copyrighted music, issued this statement amid the recent public call of rock musician and composer Raymund Marasigan for politicians to ask permission from composers to use their songs in their campaign jingles.
FILSCAP General Counsel Atty. Michael Hernandez explained there are three copyright licenses that must be secured by political candidates who intend to use copyrighted music.
One, a modification or adaptation license if the lyrics of a copyrighted song will be changed or modified to make a campaign jingle; two, a reproduction license if a copyrighted song will be recorded or copied (whether the lyrics are revised or not), and the third, a public performance license if a copyrighted song will be played to the public as campaign jingle, or as entertainment or background music during a campaign rally or event.
FILSCAP primarily licenses the public playing of over 20 million copyrighted local and foreign musical works which accounts for about 95 percent of the copyrighted songs that are now being publicly played in the Philippines.
FILSCAP lamented that while very many political candidates are now aware that they need to secure a license if they change the lyrics of a song to make campaign jingle, most of the political candidates are still not aware that a license must also be secured if copyrighted music will be played as background or entertainment music during a campaign event.