Warning: Palanca Awards 2015

Posted by Paolo Chikiamco On March - 10 - 2015

Update 3/18: Revised Palanca rules are out.http://palancaawards.com.ph/newPalanca/entries.php

Note you don’t have to agree to the terms of the rules (by ticking the box) before downloading the rules.

Only skimmed but these seem to be the pertinent copyright provs:

21. In submitting an entry, a contestant represents and warrants that the work is his own and that he has absolute ownership of all intellectual property rights thereto. If the entry is an adaptation of another author’s existing work, the contestant shall submit the written consent of the author of the existing work, allowing the contestant to adapt the work, and to enter the adaptation in the contest [Consent (adapted work/s)]. The Consent shall include a clear and categorical statement that the Foundation shall be exempt from any and all liability in the event that the adaptation is said to infringe the intellectual property rights of the author of the existing work.

22. Entries submitted must comply with government policies on printed matters. Submitted copies of winning entries shall remain with, and become the property of, the Carlos Palanca Foundation, Inc. Submitted copies of non-winning entries may be claimed by the authors not later than six (6) months from the date of announcement of winners.

23. In submitting an entry, the author and parent/guardian (if applicable) (the “Contestant”) accept the rules of the contest (the Rules) and grant and assign to the Sponsor the concurrent and non-exclusive right to exercise the copyright and other intellectual property rights granted to the author and the author’s assignees, with respect to any winning work (the Work). The grant and assignment also extend to all forms of storage, transmission, dissemination, and communication presently existing or subsequently created. The prize money which may be awarded to the Contestant for the Work shall constitute full payment of the foregoing rights assigned to the Sponsor, and shall be in lieu of any royalties or other compensation to the Contestant.

To promote Philippine Literature in the modern world of information technology, the Sponsor intends to make the winning entries accessible through the internet or other electronic media, to serve as a literary archive of the contest. The website or other media to be established for this purpose are intended to be a repository of the award-winning Works, recording the history of the development of Philippine literature over the years through the Palanca Awards. In making the Work(s) thus available to the public, the Sponsor intends purely to promote literary appreciation for and public awareness of such Work(s), and not to commercially exploit the same. Contestants must indicate on the Official Entry Form whether they agree to have their Work(s) posted on the CPMA website and made available for downloading by the public for free in the event that a prize is awarded for the entry; in the absence of any indication in the entry form, it is presumed that the author has agreed to such inclusion of the Work. To encourage use for educational purposes, winning Work(s) shall be posted on the website in their entirety. Should any winning author subsequently instruct the Sponsor in writing to include or remove the Work(s) from the Internet archive, such instruction will be honored and the Work shall be included or removed from the Internet archive within a reasonable time from Sponsor’s receipt of the author’s written instruction. The exclusion of any winning Work or Works from the website shall not constitute a waiver of any of the Sponsor’s Rights.

24. In connection with the grant, assignment, or transfer to the Sponsor of the rights stated in Rule 23, and pursuant to the requirements of R.A. No. 8293, entries must be accompanied by the author’s written consent to abide by the rules of the contest acknowledged before a Notary Public. In case of minors, particularly with respect to the Kabataan Essay category, the written consent of the parents or legal guardians shall also be required. The Authorization Form and Official Entry Form are available at the Carlos Palanca Foundation, Inc. office or through the CPMA website.

The exercise of the above rights by the Sponsor shall not be deemed a waiver of any right of action which the Sponsor of this contest may have against the contestant, if it is discovered later on that said person is not the creator or owner of the copyright to the award-winning work. Moreover, the contestant likewise undertakes to indemnify the Sponsor for any and all damages, fees, costs and expenses that the Sponsor may incur by reason of the infringement by the contestant of the intellectual property rights of another.

ORIGINAL POST

Context: The Palanca Awards this year have changed their rules — how much the rules differ from last year’s isn’t as important as looking at the rules as they stand NOW — and those rules are not good.
There’s a lot of good discussion about the Palanca Awards, both as to the rules and the awards themselves, by veteran writers and law experts. Here’s one: https://www.facebook.com/tj.dimacali/posts/10205452342924477

Here’s another: http://www.philstar.com/arts-and-culture/2015/03/09/1431031/memo-palancas

But I’m also seeing a lot of people who are confused/intimidated by the detail of these discussions.

Bottom line:

* Don’t submit a story to the Palanca Awards this year if you’d like to retain your full ability to decide where/when/how the story is published. 
* If you’re a previous Palanca winner, don’t submit a story this year if you don’t want to subject your previous award-winning stories to the new rules.

Optional: 
* Spread the word, spread it wide, because many Palanca submissions could come from first-time writers who are not a part yet of the writing communities where these things are discussed. 
* If you’re holding out hope that the Awards will change the rules, find the people tweeting/posting about it and follow them for updates.

Hopefully someone can come up with a basic primer of the how’s and wherefores aimed at new / young writers and those with an aversion to legal-speak. But for now I just hope that the basic “Danger! Danger!” message gets spread to those who need to hear it most – new writers.

Because for many new Philippine writers, and I was one of them, the Palanca Awards are seen as a gateway to legitimacy. But at the moment, that gate is boobytrapped. And they need to know.

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