Philippines puts spotlight on books and copyright protection
MANILA, Philippines – Putting thoughts into words, writing timeless stories, and creating wonderful works of art take a lot of time, effort, and talent.
It means a lot to authors and creators when their masterpieces are appreciated. Equally important to them is when the ownership and copyright to their works are respected.
To celebrate the power of books and the love of reading, and to raise awareness on the importance of copyright, the National Book Development Board (NBDB) will spearhead the "Araw ng Karapatan sa Akda/Day of the Author" or "AK/DA" at SM Aura Premier on Thursday, April 23.
Taking place on World Book and Copyright Day, "AK/DA" is a book development and readership campaign of the NBDB, in collaboration with the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines.
"A creator's awareness of his rights over his works, our recognition of and respect for these rights, and promotion of readership of Filipino works are important concerns in the industry today," said Graciela Mendoza-Cayton, executive director of the NBDB.
"AK/DA is a ceremony where stakeholders from the different sectors concerned about copyright, books, and readership will all gather to show their support for these causes," she added.
During the event, 8 Book Champions and Intellectual Property Ambassadors will be introduced to the public. They are prominent figures in the field of publishing, literature, arts, and culture:
- Virgilio S. Almario, National Artist for Literature
- Bob Ong, author of ABNKKBSNPLAko?! and Stainless Longganisa
- Luisito "Bodjie" Pascua, storyteller and stage actor
- RJ Ledesma, TV personality and writer
- Beverly "Bebang" Siy, author of It's a Mens World
- Von Totanes, librarian
- Kenneth Cobonpue, designer
- Noel Cabangon, musician and composer
They were selected "based on their background, their known support and advocacy for the protection of creators' rights in their respective fields," Cayton said.
The impact of copyright on the publishing industry, and the relevance of the ASEAN integration to local publishing will also be tackled in AK/DA. Industry partners – including the Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society (FILCOLS), National Bookstore, and Filipino book publishers – will participate.
In the afternoon, there will be storytelling sessions and arts and crafts activities for children, plus a book-signing session, highlighting some of the best-loved books of young readers today.
World Book and Copyright Day
The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) chose April 23 as World Book and Copyright Day "to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors."
UNESCO also aims to encourage everyone – young people in particular – "to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity."
April 23 is a symbolic date for world literature, says UNESCO. William Shakespeare, Miguel de Cervantes, and chronicler Garcilaso de la Vega died or were buried on April 23, 1616.
Meanwhile, literary masters whose birth or death is on April 23 include French novelist Maurice Druon, Russian novelist Vladimir Nabokov, and Spanish author Joseph Pla.
World Book and Copyright Day was first celebrated in 1995.
In the Philippines, the month of April is National Literature Month or Buwan ng Panitikan, by virtue of Proclamation No. 968 signed by President Benigno Aquino III in early 2015.
The "AK/DA" event on World Book and Copyright Day is among the many activities slated for April through the initiatives of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino, and the NBDB. – Rappler.com
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