Book industry claims losses of P240 million from DepEd ‘modules’


THE BOOK industry will sustain P240 million in losses from teaching materials reproduced by the Department of Education (DepEd) without a licensing agreement, a copyright organization said.

Filipinas Copyright Licensing Society, Inc. (Filcols) in a statement Tuesday said that the department’s Order No. 18-2020 directing teachers to reproduce learning modules during the pandemic represents lost income for authors and publishers.

Educators have turned to distance learning during the pandemic, with public schools also delivering printed learning modules to students.

“If DepEd will not sign an agreement with Filcols, we estimate a loss of P240 million,” Filcols said, adding that the basis for its estimate is an assumed license fee of P10 for 24 million students. 

Substantial portions of published books should not be reproduced without the author’s permission, Filcols Executive Director Alvin J. Buenaventura said.

A collective management organization that provides licenses for large-scale reuse of published work, Filcols said that DepEd has not taken out a license for the reproduction of works as it turned to distance learning during the pandemic.

“(The) department order resulted in market failure and loss of income for our authors and publishers,” Mr. Buenaventura said.

The organization, he said, is waiting for DepEd to agree to a fee for using the learning modules after starting talks in May last year.

DepEd had yet to respond to a request for comment at deadline time. — Jenina P. Ibañez