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Memoirs of a Law Student

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Phil. Education Company, Inc. v. Sotto- digest
Case: PHILIPPINE EDUCATION COMPANY, INC. v. VICENTE SOTTO and V.R. ALINDADA (52 Phil. 580) Date: January 29, 1929 Ponente: J. Johns Facts: Philippine Education Company, Inc. (PECI, for brevity) is a domestic corporation; it is the proprietor and publisher of the monthly magazine Philippine Education Magazine published in the City of Manila. In December 1927, PECI contracted with Austin Craig for the preparation and publication of an original article to be written by him concerning Mrs. Jose Rizal, to be published in the Philippine Education Magazine. Craig then prepared and wrote an original article entitled “The True Story of Mrs. Rizal” and delivered it to PECI which paid him for it. The same was printed and published in the December 1927 issue then put in market for sale. In every issue, it gave a notice that all rights thereto were reserved. Later on, Sotto, the proprietor and publisher of a weekly newspaper known as The Independent and Alindada, the editor, allegedly appropriated, copied and published the article unlawfully th st and without the knowledge and consent of PECI in The Independent of December 24 and 31 , 1927, without citing the PECI as source. Upon discovery, PECI requested thru a letter that on the former’s next issue, they cite it as the source of the article in some prominent place. However, notwithstanding the letter, the publication of the article was continued. Alindada advised PECI in substance that it had not registered such right under the Copyright Law. Consequently, PECI sued Sotto and Alindada for damages. Sotto and Alindada demurred to the evidence and alleged as a special defense that PECI is not the owner of the article because it had not registered it in its name in the proper registry under Act 3134 and the regulation concerning the registration of intellectual property made by the Chief of the Philippine Library and Museum, also, they had published the same without any intention to prejudice anybody in his property right but in good faith. Trial court ruled in favor of PECI, hence, the present appeal. Issue: WON the article may be reproduced considering that PECI has not registered the same in its name and merely served a notice that it reserved the rights to publication Held: No, not without giving the source of the reproduction. Ratio: The present case calls for the interpretation of Section 5 of Act 3134 i.e. An Act to Protect Intellectual Property which is known as the Copyright Law of the Philippine Islands. Analyzing the language used, such news items, editorial paragraphs and articles in periodicals may be reproduced unless they contain a notice that their publication is reserved or unless they contain a

To give the Section another construction would be to nullify. it never would have said if “they contain a notice that their publication is reserved. it should be applied. In either event. editorial paragraphs and articles in periodicals to those which have a notice of copyright only. PECI did not give notice of its copyright for the simple reason that it did not have one but it did notify Sotto and Alindada that in the publication of the article “we reserved all right. the law specifically provides that the source of the reproduction or original reproduced shall be cited. The words are plain and clear.” . If it had been the purpose of and intent of the Legislature to limit the reproduction of news items. the latter would have had the legal right to publish the article by giving the source of the reproduction to which it failed to.” which was legally equivalent to a notice of copyright. In the case at bar.notice of copyright. Furthermore. eliminate and take from the paragraph the works “they contain a notice that their publication is reserved.