[Ubuntu-PH] Clarifications on Copyrights, Codecs, and What we can and cannot do.

Dax Solomon Umaming knightlust at gmail.com
Thu Jun 14 12:21:51 UTC 2007

I'm not a lawyer, so I'm forwarding my questions to my 3 favorite lists. This 
is in regards to the Philippine Copyright Law[1]. These are the questions 
directed to me, but I'm not qualified to answer that's why I'm seeking an 

1) Are P2P applications legal? I know this is a dumb question, but I need a 
professional opinion on this matter.

2) Can I legally download and use software or materials that was not 
registered and/or copyrighted in our country?

3) Regarding Fair Use, does this mean I can decompile any software for 
learning purposes? Or do I have to first represent an educational institute 
before I can do this.

4) What about EULA's (especially Microsoft)... According to the Fair Use 
clause, we can create multiple copies of software programs for Educational 
purposes (30 copies of MS Office or MS Windows for one classroom) but the 
EULA's restricts anyone from making copies. Will the EULA's have more weight 
than our Copyright Law?

5) Is it legal to host torrent files? They are, afterall, pointers to an 
actual content and not a copyrighted content itself. 

6) Is it legal to download copyrighted materials(mpegs, mp3s, pdf) via P2P? 
<a> If not, how come no one's suing? <b> If not, can I still use it for 
research (again, Fair Use)? <c> If not, can I claim that it is my backup 

7) It's illegal to sell copyrighted materials, but is it legal to seed/host 

8) Is it legal to digitize a book for personal or archival purposes? Or any 
copyrighted material for that matter.
9) Who is in charge of overseeing Copyright Infringement? 

10) To what extent can the Business Software Alliance operate on?

11) Can the RIAA and MPAA touch us?

12) Bayanihan Linux has proprietary codecs included with their distribution, 
is it legal for them use and distribute BL?

13) See 11, if it is legal, does that mean that I can create my own Linux 
distro, include those codecs, and distribute them on the Internet (as long as 
the said distro was developed in our country)?

14) LibDVDCSS2 and the HD-DVD/Blu-Ray codecs are still considered by many as 
cracks. Is it still legal to include them on my home-built distro and 
distribute them?

15) In our country, is it legal to post 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 
56 88 C0 and 45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B2 on my website, 
my email signature, print it on my shirt and wear it, and spray paint it on 
buildings here in Baguio?

16) Is it legal to use FairUse4WM? I am, afterall, entitled to a backup copy.

17) Is it legal for me to join Doom9 and help them out by testing cracks in 
the Philippine soil?

18) Can OMB arrest me for downloading copyrighted content?

19) The Phil. Gov't created the Intellectual Property Research and Training 
Institute <Philippine Star, C-3 Business>, how can we be sure that they're 
not discussing Software Patents.

20) Who oversees GPL here in the Philippines?

21) Does FSF have power over GPL'd materials in the Philippines? and to what 

22) Can FSF demand we publish the source code of a product that was developed 
on Philippine soil even if we're not distributing the binary?

I know, some are easy questions (and some questions would alert the police) 
but, again, these questions were only directed at me and I am a bit curious 

I sent this to PLUG, Ubuntu-PH, and Bayanihan. So for those who have accounts 
on all 3 MLs, please accept my apologies for spamming your inbox.

Thank you all for your time...

[1] http://www.chanrobles.com/legal7copyright.htm

Dax Solomon Umaming
GPG: 0x715C3547
*GPG key 0xEDE9C473 was compromised, please refrain from using the said key.
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