You are on page 1of 9

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation vs Philippine Multi-Media it is not infringing upon ABS-CBN’s copyrights because it is

System, Inc. operating under the “Must-Carry Rule” outlined in NTC (National
Telecommunications Commission) Circular No. 4-08-88.

ISSUE: Whether or not PMSI infringed upon the copyrights of

576 SCRA 262 – Mercantile Law – Intellectual Property – Law on ABS-CBN.
Copyright – Must-Carry Rule
HELD: No. The “Must-Carry Rule” under NTC Circular No. 4-08-
Philippine Multi-Media System, Inc. (PMSI) is a signal provider 88 falls under the limitations on copyright. The Filipino people must
which has cable and satellite services. It is providing its satellite be given wider access to more sources of news, information,
services through Dream Broadcasting System. PMSI has its “Free education, sports event and entertainment programs other than those
TV” and “Premium Channels”. The Free TV includes ABS-CBN, provided for by mass media and afforded television programs to
GMA-7, and other local networks. The premium channels include attain a well informed, well-versed and culturally refined citizenry
AXN, Jack TV, etc which were paid by subscribers before such and enhance their socio-economic growth. The very intent and spirit
channels can be transmitted as feeds to a subscriber’s TV set which of the NTC Circular will prevent a situation whereby station owners
has been installed with a Dream satellite. and a few networks would have unfettered power to make time
ABS-CBN is a television and broadcasting corporation. It broadcasts available only to the highest bidders, to communicate only their own
television programs by wireless means to Metro Manila and nearby views on public issues, people, and to permit on the air only those
with whom they agreed – contrary to the state policy that the
provinces, and by satellite to provincial stations through Channel 2
and Channel 23. The programs aired over Channels 2 and 23 are (franchise) grantee like ABS-CBN, and other TV station owners and
either produced by ABS-CBN or purchased from or licensed by even the likes of PMSI, shall provide at all times sound and balanced
other producers. ABS-CBN also owns regional television stations programming and assist in the functions of public information and
which pattern their programming in accordance with perceived
demands of the region. Thus, television programs shown in Metro PMSI was likewise granted a legislative franchise under Republic
Manila and nearby provinces are not necessarily shown in other Act No. 8630, Section 4 of which similarly states that it “shall
provinces. provide adequate public service time to enable the government,
In May 2002, ABS-CBN sued PMSI for allegedly engaging through the said broadcasting stations, to reach the population on
in rebroadcasting and thereby infringing on ABS-CBN’s important public issues; provide at all times sound and balanced
copyrights; that the transmission of Channels 2 and 23 to the programming; promote public participation such as in community
provinces where these two channels are not usually shown altered programming; assist in the functions of public information and
ABS-CBN’s programming for the said provinces. PMSI argued that education.

The “Must-Carry Rule” favors both broadcasting organizations and HELD: No. In 1986, obviously the 1988 case of 20th Century Fox
the public. It prevents cable television companies from excluding was not yet promulgated. The lower court could not possibly have
broadcasting organization especially in those places not reached by expected more evidence from the VRB and Columbia Pictures in
signal. Also, the rule prevents cable television companies from their application for a search warrant other than what the law and
depriving viewers in far-flung areas the enjoyment of programs jurisprudence, then existing and judicially accepted, required with
available to city viewers. respect to the finding of probable cause.

The Supreme Court also revisited and clarified the ruling in the
20th Century Fox Case. It is evidently incorrect to suggest, as the
Columbia Pictures Entertainment, Inc. vs Court of Appeals ruling in 20th Century Fox may appear to do, that in copyright
infringement cases, the presentation of master tapes of the copyright
262 SCRA 219 – Mercantile Law – Intellectual Property – Law on
Copyright – Requirements Before a Search Warrant May Be Issued films is always necessary to meet the requirement of probable cause
in Copyright Cases – Piracy for the issuance of a search warrant. It is true that such master tapes
are object evidence, with the merit that in this class of evidence the
Political Law – Constitutional Law – Bill of Rights – Search ascertainment of the controverted fact is made through
Warrants demonstration involving the direct use of the senses of the presiding
magistrate. Such auxiliary procedure, however, does not rule out the
In 1986, the Videogram Regulatory Board (VRB) applied for a use of testimonial or documentary evidence, depositions, admissions
warrant against Jose Jinco (Jingco), owner of Showtime Enterprises or other classes of evidence tending to prove the factum
for allegedly pirating movies produced and owned by Columbia probandum, especially where the production in court of object
Pictures and other motion picture companies. Jingco filed a motion evidence would result in delay, inconvenience or expenses out of
to quash the search warrant but the same was denied in 1987. proportion to is evidentiary value.
Subsequently, Jinco filed an Urgent Motion to Lift the Search
Warrant and Return the Articles Seized. In 1989, the RTC judge In fine, the supposed pronouncement in said case regarding the
granted the motion. The judge ruled that based on the ruling in the necessity for the presentation of the master tapes of the copy-righted
1988 case of 20th Century Fox Film Corporation vs CA, before a films for the validity of search warrants should at most be understood
search warrant could be issued in copyright cases, the master copy of to merely serve as a guidepost in determining the existence of
the films alleged to be pirated must be attached in the application for probable cause in copy-right infringement cases where there is doubt
warrant. as to the true nexus between the master tape and the pirated copies.
An objective and careful reading of the decision in said case could
ISSUE: Whether or not the 20th Century Fox ruling may be applied lead to no other conclusion than that said directive was hardly
retroactively in this case.

intended to be a sweeping and inflexible requirement in all or similar examples, and her failure to acknowledge the same in her book is an
copyright infringement cases. infringement of Habana et al’s copyrights.

Pacita Habana vs Felicidad Robles The Supreme Court also elucidated that in determining the question
of infringement, the amount of matter copied from the copyrighted
310 SCRA 522 (369 Phil. 764) – Mercantile Law – Intellectual work is an important consideration. To constitute infringement, it is
Property – Law on Copyright – Infringement not necessary that the whole or even a large portion of the work shall
Pacita Habana and two others were the authors of College English have been copied. If so much is taken that the value of the original is
for Today Series 1 and 2 (CET). While they were researching for sensibly diminished, or the labors of the original author are
books to assist them in updating their own book, they chanced upon substantially and to an injurious extent appropriated by another, that
is sufficient in point of law to constitute piracy.
the book of Felicidad Robles entitled Developing English
Proficiency Books 1 and 2 (DEP). They discovered further that the
book of Robles was strikingly similar to the contents, scheme of
presentation, illustrations and illustrative examples of CET. They CHING V. SALINAS, SR. (G.R. NO. 161295)
then sued Robles and her publisher (Goodwill Trading Co.) for
infringement and/or unfair competition with damages. Facts:

Robles, in her defense, alleged that her sources were from foreign Petitioner Ching is a maker and manufacturer of a utility model, Leaf
books; that in their field, similarity in styles cannot be avoided since Spring Eye Bushing for Automobile, for which he holds certificates
they come from the same background and orientation. The trial court of copyright registration. Petitioner’s request to the NBI to
as well as the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Robles. apprehend and prosecute illegal manufacturers of his work led to the
issuance of search warrants against respondent Salinas, alleged to be
ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals is correct. reproducing and distributing said models in violation of the IP Code.
Respondent moved to quash the warrants on the ground that
HELD: No. A perusal of the records yields several pages of the book petitioner’s work is not artistic in nature and is a proper subject of a
DEP that are similar if not identical with the text of CET. In several patent, not copyright. Petitioner insists that the IP Code protects a
other pages the treatment and manner of presentation of the topics of work from the moment of its creation regardless of its nature or
DEP are similar if not a rehash of that contained in CET. The purpose. The trial court quashed the warrants. Petitioner argues that
similarities in examples and material contents are so obviously the copyright certificates over the model are prima facie evidence of
present in this case. How can similar/identical examples not be its validity. CA affirmed the trial court’s decision.
considered as a mark of copying? Robles’ act of lifting from the
book of Habana et al substantial portions of discussions and Issues:

(1) Whether or not petitioner’s model is an artistic work subject to & Dean (Phil.), Incorporated v. Shoemart, Incorporated, the Court
copyright protection. ruled that:

(2) Whether or not petitioner is entitled to copyright protection on Copyright, in the strict sense of the term, is purely a statutory right. It
the basis of the certificates of registration issued to it. is a new or independent right granted by the statute, and not simply a
pre-existing right regulated by it. Being a statutory grant, the rights
Ruling: are only such as the statute confers, and may be obtained and
(1) NO. As gleaned from the specifications appended to the enjoyed only with respect to the subjects and by the persons, and on
application for a copyright certificate filed by the petitioner, the said terms and conditions specified in the statute. Accordingly, it can
Leaf Spring Eye Bushing for Automobile and Vehicle Bearing cover only the works falling within the statutory enumeration or
Cushion are merely utility models. As gleaned from the description
of the models and their objectives, these articles are useful articles Ownership of copyrighted material is shown by proof of originality
which are defined as one having an intrinsic utilitarian function that and copyrightability. To discharge his burden, the applicant may
is not merely to portray the appearance of the article or to convey present the certificate of registration covering the work or, in its
information. Plainly, these are not literary or artistic works. They are absence, other evidence. A copyright certificate provides prima
not intellectual creations in the literary and artistic domain, or works facie evidence of originality which is one element of copyright
of applied art. They are certainly not ornamental designs or one validity. It constitutes prima facie evidence of both validity and
having decorative quality or value. Indeed, while works of applied ownership and the validity of the facts stated in the certificate.
art, original intellectual, literary and artistic works are copyrightable,
useful articles and works of industrial design are not. A useful article
may be copyrightable only if and only to the extent that such design
incorporates pictorial, graphic, or sculptural features that can be NBI, Microsoft Corporation vs Judy Hwang
identified separately from, and are capable of existing independently
460 SCRA 428 – Mercantile Law – Intellectual Property – Law on
of the utilitarian aspects of the article. In this case, the bushing and Copyright – Copyright Infringement
cushion are not works of art. They are, as the petitioner himself
admitted, utility models which may be the subject of a patent. In May 1993, Microsoft Corporation and Beltron Computer
Philippines, Inc. entered into a Licensing Agreement. Under Section
(2) NO. No copyright granted by law can be said to arise in favor of 2(a) of the Agreement, Microsoft authorized Beltron, for a fee, to:
the petitioner despite the issuance of the certificates of copyright
registration and the deposit of the Leaf Spring Eye Bushing and 1. Reproduce and install no more than one copy of Windows on each
Vehicle Bearing Cushion. Indeed, in Joaquin, Jr. v.Drilon and Pearl Customer System hard disk;

2. Distribute directly or indirectly and license copies of Windows 3. That the 12 installers purchased by the agents which are actually
(reproduced as per Section 2 of the Agreement and/or acquired from listed in the receipt were not manufactured by Beltron but rather they
an Authorized Replicator or Authorized Distributor. were genuine copies purchased by TMTC from an authorized
Microsoft seller in Singapore.
Their agreement allowed either party to terminate if one fails to
comply with their respective obligations. Microsoft terminated the 4. That the 2,831 installers seized from them were not a property of
Agreement in June 1995 by reason of Beltron’s non-payment of Beltron but rather they were left to them by someone for
royalties. Later, Microsoft learned that Beltron was illegally copying safekeeping.
and selling copies of Windows. Microsoft then sought the assistance
of the National Bureau of Investigation. NBI agents made some The DOJ secretary agreed with Beltron and dismissed the case. The
purchase from Beltron where they acquired a computer unit pre- Secretary ruled that the issue of the authority of Beltron to copy and
installed with Windows, 12 windows installer CDs packed as sell Microsoft products should first be resolved in a civil suit.
Microsoft products. The agents were not given the end-user license Microsoft appealed the decision of the DOJ secretary before the
agreements, user manuals, and certificates of authenticity for the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, Beltron filed a motion to quash the
products purchased. They were given a receipt which has a header of search warrant before the RTC that issued the same. The RTC
“T.M.T.C. (Phils) Inc. BELTRON COMPUTER”. TMTC stands for partially granted the quashal. The Court of Appeals reversed the
Taiwan Machinery Display and Trade Center. RTC. Hwang et al did not appeal the CA decision.

A search warrant was subsequently issued where 2,831 CDs of ISSUE: Whether or not the DOJ Secretary is correct.
Windows installers, among others, were seized. Based on the items HELD: No. Section 5 of Presidential Decree 49 enumerates the
seized from Beltron, Microsoft filed a case of copyright infringement rights vested exclusively on the copyright owner. Contrary to the
against Beltron and TMTC as well as their officers (Judy Hwang et DOJ’s ruling, the gravamen of copyright infringement is not merely
al) before the Department of Justice (DOJ). Beltron, in its counter-
the unauthorized “manufacturing” of intellectual works but rather the
affidavit, argued the following: unauthorized performance of any of the acts covered by Section 5.
1. That Microsoft’s issue with Beltron was really just to have Hence, any person who performs any of the acts under Section 5
leverage in forcing Beltron to pay the unpaid royalties; and that without obtaining the copyright owner’s prior consent renders
Microsoft should have filed a collection suit. himself civilly and criminally liable for copyright infringement.

2. That the computer unit allegedly purchased by the NBI agents Infringement of a copyright is a trespass on a private domain owned
from them cannot be decisively traced as coming from Beltron and occupied by the owner of the copyright, and, therefore, protected
because the receipt issued to the agents did not list the computer unit by law, and infringement of copyright, or piracy, which is a
as one of the items bought. synonymous term in this connection, consists in the doing by any

person, without the consent of the owner of the copyright, of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) v. Grokster, LTD
anything the sole right to do which is conferred by statute on the
owner of the copyright. Brief Fact Summary. The defendant’s distributed free software that
allowed private individuals to share copyrighted electronic files
Being the copyright and trademark owner of Microsoft software, without authorization. Some of those files shared are movies and
Microsoft acted well within its rights in filing the complaint before songs that MGM hold copyrights to.
DOJ on the incriminating evidence obtained from Beltron. Hence, it
was highly irregular for the DOJ to hold that Microsoft sought the
issuance of the search warrants and the filing of the complaint Synopsis of Rule of Law. When a distributor takes affirmative steps
merely to pressure Beltron to pay its overdue royalties to Microsoft. to foster infringement through the use of its product, the distributor
There is no basis for the DOJ to rule that Microsoft must await a will be liable for that infringement conducted by 3rd parties.
prior “resolution from the proper court of whether or not the Facts.
Agreement is still binding between the parties.” Beltron has not filed
any suit to question Microsoft’s termination of the Agreement. Grokster, LTD and StreamCast Network distributed fee software
Microsoft can neither be expected nor compelled to wait until that allowed the sharing of files in a peer to peer network. This
Beltron decides to sue before Microsoft can seek remedies for avoided the need for central servers and costly server storage and
violation of its intellectual property rights. works faster. Since files can go from computer to computer and not
through the server it is safer and cost efficient. This program was
Furthermore, the articles seized from Beltron are counterfeit per used by universities, government agencies, corporations, libraries
se because Microsoft does not (and could not have authorized and then private users. Private users began sharing copyrighted
anyone to) produce such CD installers The copying of the genuine music and video files without authorization. Grokster used
Microsoft software to produce these fake CDs and their distribution technology called FastTrack and Stream Cast used Gnutella. The
are illegal even if the copier or distributor is a Microsoft licensee. As
files shared do not go to a central location so Grokster and
far as these installer CD-ROMs are concerned, the Agreement (and StreamCast did not know when the files were being copied but if
the alleged question on the validity of its termination) is immaterial they had searched there software they would see the type of files
to the determination of Beltron’s liability for copyright infringement
being shared. It was shown that StreamCast gave software called
and unfair competition. Beltron’s defense that the box of CD OpenNap labeled the best alternative to Napster in the hopes to take
installers found in their possession was only left to them for all the Napster users that had to stop using that software after
safekeeping is not tenable. Napster was sued. Grokster had a program called OpenNap that
allowed users to search for Napster files. Grokster and StreamCast
received revenues from posting advertising all over its program

software. MGM was able to show that some 90 percent of the files Dissent. Justice Breyer states this case is no different from Sony
being shared where copyrighted files. Also there is no evidence that where time-shifting was the main purpose of users copying shows by
either company tried to filter or stop copyright infringement. The VCRS (so they could watch later). The court did not find Sony
district court granted summary judgment in favor of Grokster and responsible there. Also there is such a major market for non-
Stream Case because although users of the software did infringe infringement uses for this software that they shouldn’t be stopped
MGM’s property there was no proof there the distributors had actual from distributing the software. The standard in Sony should not be
knowledge of specific acts of infringement. MGM appealed. adapted as we did it here to add inducement.

Issue. Whether a distributor of a product that is capable of lawful Discussion. When a distributor takes affirmative steps to foster
and unlawful use is liable for copyright infringement by a 3rd party infringement through the use of its product, the distributor will be
using that product. liable for that infringement.

Held. Yes. The appeals court stated that since these distributors did Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc
not have actual knowledge, did not partake in, or monitor the file
sharing they are not directly liable for the infringement. However the Brief Fact Summary. Movie studios (Plaintiff) that owned
court erred in finding they were not secondarily liable for the actions copyrights in movies and other television programming argued that
of the users of its products. There is a balance between growing Sony (Defendant) contributed to copyright infringement of their
technologies and copyright protection, but to not make distributors copyrighted works by marketing videocassette recorders (VCRs or
liable will make copyright protections meaningless. The lower court VTRs) that enabled users to record the programs.
looked to the commerce doctrine now codified which states that a Synopsis of Rule of Law. One who supplies the way to accomplish
product must be capable of commercially significant noninfridging an infringing activity and encourages that activity through
uses and if so, no secondary liability would follow. This court finds
advertisement is not liable for copyright infringement.
that interpretation too narrow. Here this court considers the doctrine
of inducement to also be relevant. When a distributor promotes using Sony Corporation of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc
its device to infringe copyright material, shown by affirmative steps
to foster infringement this is inducement and the distributor will be
liable for 3rd party infringement. All the actions of the companies is
Facts. Sony Corp. (Sony) (Defendant) marketed Betamax
enough to show a genuine issue of material fact, thus the court
videocassette recorders (VCRs or VTRs), which allowed home
reversed the summary judgment ruling and remanded the case upon
recording of televised programs. Several movie studios (Plaintiff),
those findings.
holders of copyrights on televised movies and other televised

programs, brought an action for contributory copyright infringement permission from the copyright owner. In this case, the only contact
on the theory that Defendant was contributorily liable for between Defendant and the users of the VTR’s occurred at the
infringement by consumers of VTRs of the studios’ (Plaintiff) moment of sale. However, there is no precedent for imposing
copyrighted works on the basis of Sony’s (Defendant) marketing and vicarious liability on the theory that Sony (Defendant) sold the
distribution of the VTRs. The district court, finding, inter alia, that VTR’s with constructive knowledge that its customers might use the
no Sony (Defendant) employee had either direct involvement with equipment to make unauthorized copies of copyrighted material.
the allegedly infringing activity or direct contact with purchasers of The sale of copying equipment, like the sale of other articles of
Betamax who recorded copyrighted works off-the-air, and that there commerce, does not constitute contributory infringement if the
was no evidence that any of the copies made by individuals were product is widely used for legitimate, unobjectionable purposes, or
influenced or encouraged by Defendant’s advertisements, held that actually, is merely capable of substantial noninfringing uses. In this
Defendant was not liable for direct or contributory copyright case, a large portion of the public’s use of VTRs does not implicate
infringement. The court of appeals reversed. The United States copyright at all, and also time-shifting, the most common use for the
Supreme Court granted certeriori. Betama, constitutes a fair use. Reversed.

Issue. Is one who supplies the way to accomplish an infringing Discussion. Justice Blackmun, in a dissent, faulted the majority for
activity and encourages that activity through advertisement liable for deferring to congressional action in the face of major technological
copyright infringement? advancements, saying that the Court was thereby “evad[ing] the hard
issues when they arise in the area of copyright law.” He proposed
Held.(Stevens, J.) No. One who supplies the way to accomplish an instead a test for indirect liability for copyright infringement based
infringing activity and encourages that activity through on whether the primary use of technology is infringing. Even under
advertisement is not liable for copyright infringement. The this test, however, Sony (Defendant) would have prevailed given the
protection given to copyrights is wholly statutory, and, in a case like determination of the majority that the predominant use of VTRs
this, in which Congress has not plainly marked the course to be (time-shifting) constituted fair use.
followed by the judiciary, the Court must be circumspect in
construing the scope of rights created by a statute that never In Re: Plagiarism Charges Against Justice Mariano Del Castillo
contemplated such a calculus of interests based on technological (2011)
advances. In proceeding, the Court must balance the encouraging
and rewarding of authors to create new works with the public good. Legal Ethics – Duty of Counsel To Cite Law/Jurisprudence
This case does not fall in the category of those in which it is Without Alteration
manifestly just to impose vicarious liability because the
The Malaya Lolas received an adverse decision in the case Vinuya vs
“contributory” infringer was in a position to control the use of
Romulo decided by the Supreme Court on April 28, 2010. The
copyrighted works by others and had authorized the use without
Malaya Lolas sought the annulment of said decision due to the

alleged irregularity in the writing of the text of the decision. appropriate to resolve the matter before them, without fear
Allegedly, the ponente of said case, Justice Mariano del Castillo of reprisal. This exemption applies to judicial writings
copied verbatim portions of the decision laid down in said case from intended to decide cases for two reasons: the judge is not
three works by three foreign authors without acknowledging said writing a literary work and, more importantly, the purpose
authors hence an overt act of plagiarism which is highly
of the writing is to resolve a dispute. As a result, judges
adjudicating cases are not subject to a claim of legal
Plagiarism as defined by Black’s Law Dictionary is the “deliberate plagiarism.
and knowing presentation of another person’s original ideas or
creative expressions as one’s own.” Further, as found by the Supreme Court, the omission of the
acknowledgment by Justice del Castillo of the three foreign authors
ISSUE: Whether or not plagiarism is applicable to decisions arose from a clerical error. It was shown before the Supreme Court
promulgated by the Supreme Court. that the researcher who finalized the draft written by Justice del
Castillo accidentally deleted the citations/acknowledgements; that in
HELD: No. It has been a long standing practice in this jurisdiction all, there is still an intent to acknowledge and not take such passages
not to cite or acknowledge the originators of passages and views as that of Justice del Castillo’s own.
found in the Supreme Court’s decisions. These omissions are true for
many of the decisions that have been penned and are being penned
daily by magistrates from the Court of Appeals, the Sandiganbayan,
the Court of Tax Appeals, the Regional Trial Courts nationwide and
with them, the municipal trial courts and other first level
courts. Never in the judiciary’s more than 100 years of history has
the lack of attribution been regarded and demeaned as plagiarism.

As put by one author (this time acknowledged by the Court), Joyce

C. George from her Judicial Opinion Writing Handbook:

A judge writing to resolve a dispute, whether trial or

appellate, is exempted from a charge of plagiarism even if
ideas, words or phrases from a law review article, novel
thoughts published in a legal periodical or language from a
party’s brief are used without giving attribution. Thus
judges are free to use whatever sources they deem