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TVJ to file complaint against TAPE following access to ‘Eat Bulaga!’ YouTube channel

By Brooke Villanueva Published Sep 11, 2023 12:10 pm Updated Sep 11, 2023 12:14 pm

TVJ is expected to submit a legal action against Eat Bulaga! producer TAPE Inc. in line with their access to the noontime show’s YouTube channel.

GMA Network reported on Sept. 10 that Atty. Enrique Dela Cruz—the legal counsel of Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto, and Joey De Leon—said they are preparing to file a complaint against Television and Production Exponents Inc. after the latter was able to get into Eat Bulaga!'s YouTube page. 

According to the Kapuso network, it “had been inactive” since the trio, along with former hosts now known as “legit Dabarkads,” parted ways with the production company in May. 

Dela Cruz emphasized that the channel’s owner “is the owner of the email used to register it” and it’s not TAPE. “That is why they never had access to this account.”

The lawyer said it may “constitute a cybercrime if they hacked into the account or made misrepresentations to YouTube.” 

He further noted that its content has episodes that had aired previously, and “that TVJ owns the copyright to them and all derivative works,” GMA reported. 

For its part, TAPE’s legal counsel Atty. Maggie Abraham Garduque denied the hacking allegations as she noted they can’t be charged for cybercrime. 

"Being the owner of the account, TAPE was able to coordinate with YouTube to change the email and the password and the new contact person in behalf of the company," she said, adding that the owner of the email that was used for the YouTube account was working for the company when it was created. 

"TAPE Inc. is ready to show the official receipts from YouTube stating that it is the one spent to create the account. The bank account linked to the YouTube account is likewise owned by TAPE Inc.," she said.

Apart from this, TVJ also filed a copyright infringement and unfair competition complaint against TAPE Inc. and GMA Network on June 30 for airing and replaying some of the noontime show’s past episodes without their consent. TAPE, in a statement, noted that the Eat Bulaga! name, design, and logo are the subject of trademark and not copyright. 

TVJ announced they have parted ways with the EB producers last May 31 after rumors about an Eat Bulaga! rebranding—and the trio getting fired—broke out amid financial losses. After the announcement, staff members, including hosts, writers, sales, production, and cameramen, tendered their resignation. 

Eat Bulaga! went on with its live airing and introduced a new set of hosts on June 5, while TVJ and other Dabarkads joined TV5 and aired their new show E.A.T. on July 1.