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G.R. No. 108946 January 28, 1999 FRANCISCO G. JOAQUIN, JR., and BJ PRODUCTIONS, INC., petitioners, vs.


Petitioners seek to annul the resolution of the Department of Justice Petitioner BJ Productions, Inc. (BJPI) is the holder/grantee of Certificate of Copyright No. M922, dated January 28, 1971, of Rhoda and Me, a dating game show aired from 1970 to 1977. On June 28, 1973, petitioner BJPI submitted to the National Library an addendum to its certificate of copyright specifying the show's format and style of presentation. On July 14, 1991, petitioner Francisco Joaquin, Jr., president of BJPI, saw on RPN Channel 9 an episode of It's a Date, which was produced by IXL Productions, Inc. (IXL). On July 18, 1991, he wrote a letter to private respondent Gabriel M. Zosa, president and general manager of IXL, informing Zosa that BJPI had a copyright to Rhoda and Me and demanding that IXL discontinue airing It's a Date. In a letter, dated July 19, 1991, private respondent Zosa apologized to petitioner Joaquin and requested a meeting to discuss a possible settlement. continued airing It's a Date. petitioner sent a second letter on July 25, 1991 reiterating his demand and warned that, if IXL did not comply, he would endorse the matter to his attorneys for proper legal action. private respondent Zosa sought to register IXL's copyright to the first episode of It's a Date for which it was issued by the National Library a certificate of copyright August 14, 1991 an information for violation of P.D. No. 49 was filed against private respondent Zosa together with certain officers of RPN Channel 9 in the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City private respondent Zosa sought a review of the resolution of the Assistant City Prosecutor before the Department of Justice On August 12, 1992, respondent Secretary of Justice Franklin M. Drilon reversed the Assistant City Prosecutor's findings and directed him to move for the dismissal of the case against private respondents. Petitioners contend that: 1. The public respondent gravely abused his discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction — when he invoked non-presentation of the master tape as being fatal to the existence of probable cause to prove infringement, despite the fact that private respondents never raised the same as a controverted issue. 2. The public respondent gravely abused his discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction when he arrogated unto himself the determination of what is copyrightable — an issue which is exclusively within the jurisdiction of the regional trial court to assess in a proper proceeding. They contend that petitioner BJPI's copyright covers only a specific episode of Rhoda and Me and that the formats or concepts of dating game shows are not covered by copyright protection under P.D. No. 49. Petitioners contend, however, that the determination of the question whether the format or mechanics of a show is entitled to copyright protection is for the court, and not the Secretary of Justice, to make. HELD: It is indeed true that the question whether the format or mechanics of petitioners television show is entitled to copyright protection is a legal question for the court to make. This does not, however, preclude respondent

method of operation. §2. Petitioners then made demands for damages against respondents and also demanded that they cease and desist from further selling and distributing to the general public the i nfringed copies of respondent Robles’ works. §2(M petition is hereby DISMISSED [G. Section 2 of P. P. vs. 49. Inc. while respondent Goodwill Trading Co.R.D. or discovery. Series 1 Respondent Felicidad Robles and Goodwill Trading Co.D. 131522. For this reason. CET. otherwise known as the DECREE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. 1988. scheme of presentation. as falling within the class of works mentioned in P.. respondent Robles filed her answer. Respondent Robles was impleaded in the suit because she authored and directly committed the acts of infringement complained of. illustrated.. in enumerating what are subject to copyright.. he did not commit any grave error. The plagiarism. No. explained. Books 1 and 2. 1999] PACITA I. Inc.Secretary of Justice from making a preliminary determination of this question in resolving whether there is probable cause for filing the case in court. and for respondents to render an accounting of the proceeds of all sales and profits since the time of its publication and sale. petitioners found that several pages of the respondent’s book are similar. ROBLES and GOODWILL TRADING CO. studies and experiences. the protection afforded by the law cannot be extended to cover them. plates and films and other materials used in its printing destroyed. and the misrepresentations of respondent Robles that the same was her original work and concept adversely affected and substantially diminished the sale of the petitioners’ book and caused them actual damages by way of unrealized income. system. a complaint for “Infringement and/or unfair competition with damages” against private respondents. 1988. Petitioners asked the court to order the submission of all copies of the book DEP. respondents ignored the demands on July 7. if not all together a copy of petitioners’ book. are the author/publisher and distributor/seller of another published work entitled “DEVELOPING ENGLISH PROFICIENCY” (DEP for brevity). together with the molds. ALICIA L. No. or embodied in such work. and denied the allegations of plagiarism and copying that petitioners claimed. process. petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court. CINCO and JOVITA N. 49. What then is the subject matter of petitioners' copyright? This Court is of the opinion that petitioner BJPI's copyright covers audio-visual recordings of each episode of Rhoda and Me. FERNANDO. July 19.D. FELICIDAD C. petitioners. The copyright does not extend to an idea. refers to finished works and not to concepts. was impleaded as the publisher and joint co-owner of the copyright certificates of registration covering the two books authored and caused to be published by respondent Robles with obvious connivance with one another On November 28. procedure. The format or mechanics of a television show is not included in the list of protected works in §2 of P. No. Makati. incorporation and reproduction of particular portions of the book CET in the book DEP. concept. which is a case of plagiarism and copyright infringement. INC. Books 1 and 2 (1985 edition) which book was covered by copyrights issued to them Petitioners came upon the book of respondent Robles and upon perusal of said book they were surprised to see that the book was strikingly similar to the contents. and (3) the . regardless of the form in which it is described. FACTS: a petition for review on certiorari Petitioners are authors and copyright owners of COLLEGE ENGLISH FOR TODAY (CET for brevity). Respondent stressed that (1) the book DEP is the product of her independent researches. HABANA. principle. enumerates the classes of work entitled to copyright protection. (2) DEP followed the scope and sequence or syllabus which are common to all English grammar writers as recommended by the Association of Philippine Colleges of Arts and Sciences (APCAS). No.. 49. and WORKBOOK FOR COLLEGE FRESHMAN ENGLISH. respondents. illustrations and illustrative examples in their own book. so any similarity between the respondents book and that of the petitioners was due to the orientation of the authors to both works and standards and syllabus. In doing so in this case.D. 49. 10 To begin with the format of a show is not copyrightable. and was not a copy of any existing valid copyrighted book. without the authority or consent of petitioners.

If so much is taken that the value of the original is sensibly diminished. the following acts shall not constitute infringement of copyright: …(e) The inclusion of a work in a publication . there is an infringement of copyright and to an injurious extent. and he copied at his peril. In the appeal.similarities may be due to the authors’ exercise of the “right to fair use of copyrigthed materials. 49. did not know whether or not he was infringing any copyright. 184. the amount of matter copied from the copyrighted work is an important consideration. Copy or Economic rights. (2) whether or not there was animus furandi on the part of respondent when they refused to withdraw the copies of CET from the market despite notice to withdraw the same. the work is appropriated. or other communication to the public. if appearing in the work is mentioned. That the source and the name of the author. as guides. At present. the following shall not constitute infringement of copyright:… (c) The making of quotations from a published work if they are compatible with fair use and only to the extent justified for the purpose. or even a large portion of it. That the source and the name of the author. and her failure to acknowledge the same in her book is an infr ingement of petitioners’ copyrights. When is there a substantial reproduction of a book? It does not necessarily require that the entire copyrighted work.… “Sec. all laws dealing with the protection of intellectual property rights have been consolidated and as the law now stands. he at least knew that what he was copying was not his. 8293. to what extent can copying be injurious to the author of the book being copied. the same principles are reiterated in the new law under Section 177. including quotations from newspaper articles and periodicals in the form of press summaries : Provided. The similarities in examples and .1 Reproduction of the work or substantial portion of the work. In determining the question of infringement. petitioners argued that the trial court completely disregarded their evidence and fully subscribed to the arguments of respondent Robles that the books in issue were purely the product of her researches and studies and that the copied portions were inspired by foreign authors and as such not subject to copyright. authorize or prevent the following acts: 177. scholarly and scientific works.Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter V. broadcast. 49 was in force. that is sufficient in point of law to constitute piracy.—Subject to the provisions of chapter VIII. sound recording of film. thematic and sequential similarity between DEP and CET. Petitioners also assailed the findings of the trial court that they were animated by bad faith in instituting the complaint ISSUE: Petitioners raised the following issues: (1) whether or not. it is not an excuse for them to be identical even in examples contained in their books.-. in such cases. It provides for the copy or economic rights of an owner of a copyright as follows: “Sec. in violation of Section 11 of Presidential Decree No. We believe that respondent Robles’ act of lifting from the book of petitioners substantial portions of discussions and examples. despite the apparent textual. To constitute infringement. and (3) whether or not respondent Robles abused a writer’s right to fair use. and it is no defense that the pirate. it is not necessary that the whole or even a large portion of the work shall have been copied. if such inclusion is made by way of illustration for teaching purposes and is compatible with fair use: Provided. copyright or economic rights shall consist of the exclusive right to carry out. are mentioned.177. be copied. or the labors of the original author are substantially and to an injurious extent appropriated by another. “work” has reference to literary and artistic creations and this includes books and other literary. the protection of copyrights is governed by Republic Act No. Notwithstanding the change in the law. if appearing on the work.1 Limitations on copyright. A copy of a piracy is an infringement of the original. In several other pages the treatment and manner of presentation of the topics of DEP are similar if not a rehash of that contained in CET. If so much is taken that the value of the original work is substantially diminished. Sec 184 Limitations on Copyright. Notwithstanding the provisions of Chapter V. respondents committed no copyright infringement. HELD: The complaint for copyright infringement was filed at the time that Presidential Decree No. In the above quoted provisions. Is it enough that there are similarities in some sections of the books or large segments of the books are the same? even if petitioners and respondent Robles were of the same background in terms of teaching experience and orientation.

WHEREFORE. if appearing on the work. In the case at bar. under Section 184. She circulated the book DEP for commercial use and did not acknowledge petitioners as her source.material contents are so obviously present in this case. Hence. the least that respondent Robles could have done was to acknowledge petitioners Habana et. the injury consists in that respondent Robles lifted from petitioners’ book materials that were the result of the latter’s research work and compilation and misrepresented them as her own. Quotations from a published work if they are compatible with fair use and only to the extent justified by the purpose. In copyrighting books the purpose is to give protection to the intellectual product of an author. In cases of infringement. as the source of the portions of DEP. are mentioned. The final product of an author’s toil is her book. al. Here. This is precisely what the law on copyright protected. To allow another to copy the book without appropriate acknowledgment is injury enough. the petition is hereby GRANTED . there is a clear case of appropriation of copyrighted work for her benefit that respondent Robles committed. Petitioners’ work as authors is the product of their long and assiduous research and for another to represent it as her own is injury enough.1 (b). copying alone is not what is prohibited. The copying must produce an “injurious effect”. including quotations from newspaper articles and periodicals in the form of press summaries are allowed provided that the source and the name of the author.