The Need To Register CD/DVD Writers With OMB

If an i-café is offering CD-Burning service to its customers, the owner is required to register the optical media writer (CD/DVD writer) being used for the purpose with the Optical Media Board (OMB). Under the Optical Media Act of 2003, CD-burning service falls under the definition of replication and hence the owner of an establishment offering the service must register the equipment with OMB.

A question often asked about this regulation is, “After an i-café registered its CD/DVD writer with OMB, can it now, for a fee, legally copy songs, movies, etc. that customers request them to do?“. The answer to this question is NO, the registration of the CD/DVD writer with OMB is not a license for the i-café to go on and produce copies of copyrighted materials. The permissions of the copyright owners are still needed before anyone can legally produce copies of their work.

So, what can an i-café with registered CD/DVD writer legally burn or copy? Research work or thesis of students and private videos of weddings, birthdays and other gatherings are some examples of things that come to my mind. With these limitations, the next question would be “Will CD-Burning service still be feasible if the OMB Law gets fully implemented?

By the way, while I am on this topic, let me add that to fully comply with the provisions of the Optical Media Law, the i-café must keep a 5-year record of inventory of materials (blank CDs and DVDs) and the kind of copying jobs done including the names of customers. Registration with OMB is done annually and such records may be required during renewals.

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