ABS-CBN secures necessary rights over intellectual property work: lawyer

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 30 2020 01:15 AM

MANILA - All necessary rights are secured by ABS-CBN Corp. for its intellectual property work, the broadcast network said Monday, amid allegations of denying its talents of royalties for their content.

In the House's recent hearing on the franchise of ABS-CBN, its legal counsel Maxim Uy emphasized that as the network executes contracts and agreements with all workers who are contracted to produce intellectual properties, such as movies and television programs, "they agree that the rights of ABS-CBN are absolute."

"The workers agree to assign whatever intellectual properties they may have in the work. These works are commissioned works as defined in the Intellectual Property Code," he said.

"So all necessary rights are secured by ABS-CBN...prior to exhibiting any intellectual property work." 

Uy explained that the work aired by ABS-CBN are either produced by its workers or by third parties. For work produced by third parties, he said that necessary license agreements are executed with producers.

"In so far as works of ABS-CBN are concerned, ABS-CBN executes contracts with all of the workers that are engaged in the production of intellectual property work, such as television programs or movies. And the rights of the parties are clearly stated in those agreements and ABS-CBN, as the producer, owns the end product or the intellectual property that is produced as a result of the production," he stressed.

"As a result of that arrangement, no royalties or any further payments are due to the workers who are involved in the production of the programs."

Uy explained that under the Intellectual Property Code, the creators of intellectual property are entitled to royalties under certain circumstances. 

"However, if they assign all their rights to the work, then they waive any claim for royalties. This is the case in the engagement of workers for programs of ABS-CBN," he said.

Allegations have been thrown against the country's biggest media network that it has been denying payments or royalties to its talents, particularly in its entertainment sector.

Aside from intellectual property rights, labor issues of ABS-CBN were also tackled by the lower chamber. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said in the hearing that ABS-CBN has complied with Philippine labor standards following a routine inspection.

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