ABS-CBN loses P127M copyright suit vs Willie Revillame

MANILA , Philippines, December 11, 2019– The Philippines Supreme Court (SC) dismissed the petition for review filed by ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation in connection with a Court of Appeals (CA) ruling against it in PHP127-million damage for copyright case against television host Willie Revillame and ABC Development Corporation or TV5.

In a resolution dated October 16, the SC through division clerk of court Librada C. Buena affirmed its earlier decision dated September 5, 2011, and ordered ABS-CBN to pay the costs of the suit.

File Photo/ PNA

The SC ruling upheld the CA’s reversal of an earlier ruling of the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) and ordered the dismissal of the copyright infringement complaint before the Makati RTC having been filed in violation of the rules against forum shopping after noting that the network filed a similar case before the Quezon City RTC.

In its decision, Makati City RTC Branch 66 Presiding Judge Joselito Villarosa earlier issued an order stopping the airing of Revillame’s former show “Willing Willie” and allowed the civil complaint against the comedian, his production outfit Wilprod and TV 5 to proceed.

ABS-CBN, in its complaint filed with the Makati RTC, sought to stop the airing of Revillame’s show citing its similarity to the program “Wowowee” that used to be aired by the network before they had a falling out with the host.

“As correctly held by the CA, Wilfredo Revillame’s (Revillame) refusal to “honour his talent agreement by not working for a rival network is the delict that purportedly violated the petitioner’s rights in the separate claims. Thus, the petitioner resorted to forum shopping when it filed a complaint about infringement, the cause of action of which is similar to its compulsory counterclaim (in another case) considering that both can be traced from Revillame’s refusal to honour his talent agreement”, the high court held. (PNA)

By Benjamin Pulta, December 11, 2019