‘Credit to the owner,’ how far can it go?

/ 04:18 PM May 08, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Ever came across a Facebook meme or a photo captioned ‘CTTO’?

CTTO, or credit to the owner, is frequently used when posting images or texts on social media to credit the original source of the material. In many instances, people simply use ‘CTTO’ since they do not really know the identity of the original source.


The use of CTTO has been so frequently used that many start to believe that posting another person’s content and simply supporting it with a ‘CTTO’ caption equates to crediting the original source.

The Philippines, however, has an existing rule on the use of copyrighted content which covers a wide range of creations to include photos, texts, films, music, even architectural designs, among others.


“Works are protected by the sole fact of their creation, irrespective of their mode or form of expression, as well as their content, quality and purpose. Thus, it does not matter if, in the eyes of some critics, a certain work has little artistic value. So long as it has been independently created and has a minimum of creativity, the same enjoys copyright protection,” the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) said on its website.

In an article posted by the IPOPHL, it explained that copyright need not to be applied for since it is already given from the moment the content was created.

According to the IPOPHL, in consideration of the public and giving them the right to use copyrighted content, the concept of “fair use” is being used when considering four factors:

(1) the purpose and character of your use

(2) the nature of the copyrighted work

(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion taken

(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market


Under the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines, violating a person’s copyright over a creation may result in the payment of fines and/or imprisonment.

So the next time you decide to use an image, text, or any other content that was not originally created by you, make sure the original source is credited to avoid any trouble. /muf

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TAGS: Copyright, credit to the owner, CTTO, design, Facebook, Meme
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