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ABS-CBN says legal case against Willie Revillame is not an act of vengeance

ABS-CBN is determined to pursue the copyright infringement case against Willie Revillame amidst various criticisms.

BY RACHELLE SIAZON

FRESH SCOOPS

12/1/2010 7:56 AM
ABS-CBN says legal case against Willie Revillame is not an act of vengeance


Despite Willie Revillame'rsquo;s protests, ABS-CBN is determined to pursue the copyright infringement case against the former Wowowee host together with his production outfit Wilproductions Inc and TV5 network.

In a complaint filed on November 24 at the Makati Regional Trial Court, it was stated that Willie'rsquo;s new show, Willing Willie, on TV5 "deliberately and intentionally imitated Wowowee'rsquo;s concept, layout, and set 'lsquo;to steal'rsquo; the goodwill [that the noontime show] has built over the past five years of airing in the network." The Kapamilya network also stressed that TV5'rsquo;s act of broadcasting of the allegedly infringed program (Willing Willie) "has caused and continues to cause irreparable damage to ABS-CBN."

During the initial hearing yesterday, November 30, ABS-CBN business unit head Alou Almaden was first to testify that Wowowee was not solely conceptualized by Willie, but rather a result of a group effort.

ABS-CBN'rsquo;s lead counsel Bong Susmero stressed that Willing Willie is clearly a rip-off of Wowowee. "Hindi nila binago yung programang Wowowee. Daladala nila (referring to Willie and his cohorts) pumunta sa Channel 5. Hindi na sila nag-create ng iba. Walang originality. Kung ano na lang yung pinatakbo sa Channel 2 yun na din ang pinatakbo sa Channel 5. Kaya panay ang sinasabi nila tuloy ang ligaya, tuloy ang saya, tuloy ang programa ni Willie."

Contrary to Willie'rsquo;s recent interview with the local press, the network also maintained that they have a legitimate cause for filing the copyright infringement case against him and the other respondents. "ABS-CBN filed case in good faith and simply to protect its rights under the law. It's not motivated by 'vengeance' to get back at anyone. Infringement of Intellectual Property rights is a very serious matter act to stealing another's property. It's also like plagiarism which the public has condemned in recent events," lead counsel Susmero said.