‘You have the power to make this right,’ Ely Buendia tells online talent show amid musical plagiarism claims

August 5, 2020 - 7:07 PM
Ely Buendia with guitar
Ely Buendia performing in this photo uploaded on his Facebook page on Jan. 16, 2020. (Photo from Ely Buendia via Facebook)

Musician Ely Buendia called on the parties involved in the supposed plagiarism of an online talent show winner to take action and “set an example” to young people in the entertainment industry.

The former lead vocalist of Filipino rock band Eraserheads on Wednesday wrote a lengthy post on Facebook where he appealed for the parties to make the situation “right” and “stand up for and give back to the art” that is a source of life for artists like him.

“You alone have the power to make this right. You have the power to teach a young man and all the young people out there about to join the world, our children, a most valuable lesson that can have no other effect except make them good and become better,” Buendia said.

“You have the power to stand up for and give back to the art which has been a source of life for all of us. You have the power to set an example and for once do the right thing, and become a beacon of hope in these dark times ruled by greed, hate and lies,” the musician added.

Buendia admitted that while there are “more pressing matters out there,” the implication of the incident will “set a precedent and have repercussions in the years to come.”

“In the end, this will not just be about a song, a contract, a million pesos, or credit,” he wrote.

“On which side of history do you want to be on? Search your hearts for the truth and it will set you free,” Buendia continued.

I am appealing to the people, companies and corporations involved in the AHEB plagiarism issue. You alone have the power…

Posted by Ely Buendia on Wednesday, August 5, 2020


Most Filipinos in the comments section agreed with the musician and said that the parties must “make a stand to protect intellectual property rights.”

“The artist management, if it values artistry and creativity at all should likewise not stand for it,” a Facebook user wrote.

“Yes. Do not reward stealing other people’s ideas. Di lang dapat bawiin yung pagkapanalo, dapat ding kasuhan ng paglabag sa intellectual property,” another online user commented.

The Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines protects literary and artistic works from the moment of its creation including musical compositions.

Derivative works are also protected which include “dramatizations, translations, adaptations, abridgments, arrangements, and other alterations of literary or artistic works.”

Several local artists from the entertainment industry previously called out the online talent show The Pop Stage after the musical director of “Ang Huling El Bimbo: The Musical” claimed that its winner “ripped off” its musical arrangement on his final entry.

CJ Villavicencio, the winner of the online competition named after actor Matteo Guidicelli, won P1 million and a one-year management contract from the Viva Artists Agency.

RELATED: Filipino artists call out online talent show champ for ‘plagiarizing’ Ang Huling El Bimbo musical

The online competition was also made possible by the participation of Popeyes Philippines, a multinational fried chicken chain.

Villavicencio reportedly submitted a music video featuring a medley of Eraserheads songs but the musical director of the AHEB musical accused him of copying the arrangements without permission.

AHEB cast members aired their disappointment while their fellow local artists Kim Molina and Jerald Napoles also condemned the supposed plagiarism.

The Pop Stage, Popeyes and Guidicelli have not yet released a statement about the controversial Eraserheads medley and the grand finals as of this writing.