Democracy.Net.PH Statement on the Signing of President Benigno S. Aquino III of RA 10372 (Amendments to IP Code)

Democracy.Net.PH is very disappointed with the decision of President Benigno S. Aquino III not to veto the proposed amendments to RA 8293, the Intellectual Property Code, and sign these amendments into law as RA 10372.

It is regrettable enough that the President has signed into law the IP Code amendments, whose flaws have been pointed out by leading legal experts. It is even more regrettable that the President approved the law without any public indication that the arguments against the bill had been duly considered.

It should not be a surprise if the new law is tested, sooner rather than later, before the courts. We trust that the judicial system will allocate copyright within its proper constitutional space. The private guarantees of copyright were never intended to supplant constitutional rights. They could not defeat the thirst for knowledge, the innate quest for self-improvement through legitimate yet hassle-free access to information from across borders.

Democracy.Net.PH strongly believes that IP legislation must respect and protect the rights of the creators, the innovators, and the users. The law is biased against stakeholders in a way the Constitution is not. The challenge is now for these stakeholders to work together to make sure that this law gets repealed at the soonest possible time.

Democracy.Net.PH gladly takes on this challenge and we look forward to working with fellow stakeholders and our duly elected representatives in government, whether through the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom or some other initiative, to work for a balanced protection of intellectual property rights.