MANILA — A group of composers, authors and publishers has asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on how to protect their intellectual property (IP) rights over the use of songs in the campaign jingles of candidates in the May national and local elections.

Noel Cabangon, President of the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (FILSCAP) visited the poll body office on Monday to ask the latter’s assistance to ensure that all songs used as campaign jingles does not violate the intellectual property (IP) rights of the artists.

“The issue is the IP rights. So when a song is used, they have to ask for the permission of the owner,” he said.

Cabangon noted that they asked the help of the Comelec to properly inform those running in public office to respect IP rights of artists.

“Our aim is to inform the candidates that they should comply with the law on IP,” he said.

The campaign period for national positions namely: president, vice-president, senators and party-list group will begin on Feb. 9 while local candidates will start their campaign on March 26.

The composer noted that although, many candidates observe the IP rights of the artists in previous election, there are still those who do not follow the law.

“There are those that are not aware of the copyrighted works. They still need to comply with them even during elections since they use the music when campaigning,” Cabangon added.

On the other hand, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista said they know the concerns of the group as far as using their songs by politicians when campaigning.

“For the election season, they are asking for the Comelec’s help so their copyrights over their music are protected,” he added.

The poll body chief said they are looking to sign a Memorandum of Agreement between the Comelec, FILSCAP, and the Intellectual Property Office (IPO). Ferdinand Patinio/PNA/