Transfer of Copyright

The copyright may be assigned in whole or in part.[1] Within the scope of the assignment, the assignee is entitled to all the rights and remedies which the assignor had with respect to the copyright.[2] The copyright is not deemed assigned inter vivos (during one’s life time) in whole or in part unless there is a written indication of such intention.[3]
The submission of a literary, photographic or artistic work to a newspaper, magazine or periodical for publication constitute only a license to make a single publication unless a greater right is expressly granted.[4]

If two or more persons jointly own a copyright or any part thereof, neither of the owners is entitled to grant licenses without the prior written consent of the other owner/s.[5]

Copyright and material object different

The copyright is distinct from the property in the material object subject to it. Consequently, the transfer or assignment of the copyright does not itself constitute a transfer of the material object.[6] Neither will a transfer or assignment of the sole copy or of one or several copies of the work imply transfer or assignment of the copyright.[7] 

Filing of assignment or license

An assignment or exclusive license may be filed in duplicate with the National Library upon payment of the prescribed fee for registration in books and records kept for the purpose.[8] Upon recording, a copy of the instrument is to be returned to the sender with a notation of the fact of record.[9] Notice of the record will be published in the IPO Gazette.[10]

Designation of society

The copyright owners or their heirs may designate a society of artists, writers, or composers to enforce their economic rights and moral rights on their behalf.[11]

Best Legal Practices:

Designate a copyright agent – A copyright owner may designate a copyright agent who will be tasked to protect and enforce the economic and moral rights of the owner. As an agent, the designated person will act for and on behalf of the principal in registering the copyright with the IPO, monitoring and prosecuting copyright infringers, and entering into licensing agreements, among others. This arrangement is a growing trend as it is beneficial to the copyright owner who is relieved from these ministerial tasks in order for him to focus more on creating new works.


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[1] Ibid. Section 180.1.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid. Section 180.2.

[4] Ibid. Section 180.3.

[5] Ibid.

[6] Ibid. Section 181.

[7] Ibid.


[9] Ibid. Section 182.

[10] Ibid.

[11] INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CODE. Section 183. The provisions on the limitations of copyrights is to be interpreted in such a way as “to allow the work to be used in a manner which does not conflict with the normal exploitation of the work and does not unreasonably prejudice the right holder’s legitimate interests” (Section 183.2, Ibid.).