By ALDWIN QUITASOL
BAGUIO CITY — According to Baguio City Association of Bars and Entertainers (Babes) President Allan Bandoy, they will never pay any intellectual property rights (IPR) fees to the Filipino Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (Filscap) as they question its authority to do such.
He said that as far as he knows, no member of Babes paid to Filscap. Bandoy said they told their members not to pay anything to Filscap. He said Filscap called for a meeting with the bar owners a year ago but no one attended.
“Sinabi nila na dapat magbayad kami ng IPR pero hindi naming pinapansin,” (They told us to pay for the IPR but we did not entertain it) he said. He said that if ever the Filscap will write them and ask them to pay, still they will not entertain it.
Hours earlier, a Baguio restaurateur and his lawyer called for a press briefing on the decision of the Court of Appeals, 4th Division absolving them from infringement of copyright for playing music and songs aired over a local radio station. This decision affirmed an earlier decision by the Regional Trial Court Branch 6 in Baguio City declaring Anrey Inc., which operates Sizzling Plate restaurants in the city not guilty of infringement.
According to restaurateur Carlos Anton of Anrey Inc., they were in high spirits when they received the copy of the decision as they see the collection of royalty fees by Filscap too much for small businesses. He said they were asked to pay P6,300 for royalty fees and they have three stores so they have to pay more than P18,000 a year to Filscap.
Anton said that in 2009, Filscap accused their company of infringement after one of their agents went to observe in one of their stores. He said Filscap went after them for tuning in to a radio station playing music which the Filscap claimed they have copyright authorities over them as they were authorized to do so.
Filscap is said to be the holder of deeds of assignment to collect royalties from artists both in within and outside the Philippines and is said to be authorized by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI).
Anrey Inc., refused to pay Filscap. Filscap as a response filed a case against the company demanding a payment of more or less P500, 000 as nominal damages, and attorney’s fees. The court ruled that the company did not commit infringement upon the copyright law as they did not charge any admission fee prior to the playing of songs through the radio and did not collect additional charges from its costumers for such.
Anrey’s lawyer Lauro Gacayan said that with the CA’s affirmation of the earlier RTC’s ruling, they are confident that the Supreme Court will favour the earlier decisions if Filscap decides to elevate the case. # nordis.net