Philippine Copyright Laws and eBooks

May be our readers have some more insights to share.

Hi, I am a student of DLSU- Manila doing a research paper in English. I was wondering if there is anyone who can help me with my research paper in English about the lack of implementation of the copyright law in the Philippines on digital books (or eBooks). Attached is the list of research questions. I would really appreciate it if anyone of you can help me out.

Thank you for all your time and kind consideration.

1. Do you think tha lack of implementation of the copyright law in the Philippines on digital books will be a hindrance or benefit to students?

Probably not. The cost should be considerably less because there is technically no cost of production of the actual book. The payment mostly goes to royalties.


While the copyright law applies to digital books, there is the Presidential Decree No. 285 authorizing the compulsory “reprinting” of learning books, etc., which, I submit, could be applied by analogy to digital books. For educational and other academic purposes, therefore, there may be no hindrance.

But research also on how this Presidential Decree is amended/modified by the GATT. International Economic and Trade Law is not my field. – Atty. Punzi

2. If it can benefit, what do you think will be the effects of it on the publishing industry?

As to the publishing industry, I think it will definitely suffer to a certain extent. But not much because still only a relative few people have computer let alone access and utilize digital books.

3. What measures do you think the Philippine government should do to implement the copyright law on digital books?

The law, I think, is already sufficient to cover digital books.

4. How widespread is digital books in the present in the Philippines?

Not that much in my field. But a lot of people in my field don’t even know how to use a computer. I don’t know about the academic scene, however.

In theory, digital books are more portable simply because of huge memory capacities of today’s portable devices. Heck, you can even carry ebooks in your phone. I do. I have most of the laws (codals) I need in everyday practice in my N9500 (with 512Mb MMC card). I even have zip files of most of the current Philippine laws, thanks to PocketLex.

5. Do you think that digital books can take the place of hardcopy books? If yes, what will be the effects?

At this point no. Digital books are still hard to read in the small screens of current readers. Maybe this will change with the advent of digital paper.

6. Are digital books more profitable as compared to hardcopy books? Why or why not?

Releasing publications as e-books is more profitable, since you don’t incur overhead expenses such as printing, etc. You get higher margins, then; or you can sell your books cheaper. But the danger of piracy is more prevalent. – JAngelo

7. Do you think copyright laws are well implemented here in the Philippines?

As in any law in the Philippines, copyright law is not well impemented.

Once again, thank you.

Your truly,
Hsiao Wei Chen

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  • 2. If it can benefit, what do you think will be the effects of it on the publishing industry?

    It will probably hurt because digital media is easier to copy and distribute illegally.

    However, it will can possibly help indenpendent third party publishers get their work out. No need for a big publishing house to carry your work. Just digitize your content and post in the web. Once you get a following, that is why you start releasing print works. There are a number of books such as Bruce Eckel’s Thinking in Patterns.

    6. Are digital books more profitable as compared to hardcopy books? Why or why not?

    To add to the existing comments. There is also no need to keep physical inventory of printed material. Just master and release.

    Also there is a something I would like to call the “Playstation Syndrome”. I would like to believe that by introducing the CDROM format for games, Sony made it easier to distribute content. (and Pirates to Copy). So this allows the market to grow very quickly. So even if there is a 300 million dollar playstation games market with 90% piracy, that still translates to 30 million dollars.

  • After almost a year, I finally uploaded the said term paper, thought you guys might be interested, of course, all of the answers you gave we’re a big help. There are also other interesting insights from my professors about the topic.


  • Almost forgot to thanks all the ppl at PTB, for helping out. I really really appreciate it! 😀

  • VJ

    Hi, I’m doing a research paper about Philippine Copyright law in general, any kind of help is welcome.

    Regarding the copyright law in the Philippines, how much has it changed over the years since Act 3134?
    Does the Philippines really comply with the legislation?
    How can the present case in relation to manila bulletin and the photographer be solved? As it was his personal blog, but he has not register for copyright, has he? therefore, since he failed to register, does he have the right to sue?
    Corruption is quite common, therefore, do you think it stops the law from taking effect?
    Are there any cases that we can access online to see the differences in relation to the change of legislation? or maybe some corruption news in relation to copyright?

  • jane

    hi…i am making a report about plagiarism and it concerns about the our copyright law. the problem is some of the sections are hard to understand and thus its also hard to cite examples also..can you help me po?