Did a copyright infringement case force Jim Brickman to cancel his Manila concert?

Did a copyright infringement case force Jim Brickman to cancel his Manila concert?

Popular American songwriter and pianist Jim Brickman disappointed his Filipino fans when it was announced Wednesday that his scheduled concert in Manila this August 8 titled “The Platinum Tour” will no longer push through.

The announcement was first made on a Facebook page maintained by the concert organizer Grand Leisure Corporation. “Mr. Brickman – after conferring with his legal counsel – has opted to not visit Manila. Due to a legal matter he was previously involved in, it has become difficult to proceed with the event,” according to the post.

“As of press time, Mr. Brickman has not released an official statement regarding this matter. We will share this as soon as we receive it,” the company also said. Brickman is a household name for many Filipinos, with his songs “Your Love,” “The Gift,” “Destiny,” “Valentine,” and “You” typically played during wedding receptions and prom nights.

jim brickman manila concert 2015
Jim Brickman has decided to not push through with his August 8 concert in Manila (Credits: Grand Leisure Corporation)

The concert organizers did not specify what that legal matter is but they reiterated that it is something that’s beyond their control. TicketWorld has already announced the refund process for ticket buyers on their website.

The abrupt cancellation of the event merely three days before its schedule took not just fans but also Tony Award-winning actress Lea Salonga by surprise. Salonga is one of the two guest performers for Brickman’s concert, and her image has been constantly used in promoting the concert.


What exactly is that “legal matter” that prompted Brickman to cancel his Philippines concert? Apparently, Brickman has been facing charges of copyright infringement from Filipino singer-songwriter Nelson del Castillo since 2007. Below is a timeline of the legal dispute based on the blog DisKorner and articles by Philippine Daily Inquirer‘s Dolly Anne Carvajal:

1994 – Del Castillo released the song “If” through BMG Records. This is included in his album titled “Faithfully.”

1995 – Brickman included a piano version of “If” in his album “By Heart” with the permission of BMG Records and with due credits to Del Castillo. Check the complete track list below:

jim brickman by heart album 1995
A piano version of Nelson Del Castillo’s song “If” was included in Jim Brickman’s 1995 album with permission.
(Credits: http://brickman.8m.com/intl/index.html)

2007 – Brickman released his album “Hope.” Del Castillo claims that a song of the same title (its carrier single, in fact) is actually a piano version of his song “If.” But unlike in 1995, his record company did not grant Brickman a mechanical license to do so. Worse, Del Castillo was not even acknowledged as the composer.

2008 – In response to Del Castillo’s demands, Brickman claimed that what happened was merely an “honest mistake.” In a response letter, Brickman’s lawyers explained that the American composer mistakenly identified the song title as ‘Hope’ and that he “never intended to take credit for (Del Castillo’s) work.”

Brickman’s camp also asked Del Castillo to grant them a mechanical license to use “If” while also offering $12,567.10 for statutory royalties. Del Castillo rejected the money, insisting that it only covers the unauthorized use of the song and is not sufficient to compensate for Brickman’s act of changing the song title and claiming it as his composition. (This is based on the reports of PDI’s Carvajal and Business World’s Giselle Kasilag. – TFS)

jim brickman copyright infringement
Jim Brickman was served a subpoena in 2009 in relation to a copyright infringement case

2009 – Brickman was served a subpoena in connection to a copyright infringement case filed by Del Castillo after a performance in Eastwood Mall, Quezon City. He refused to sign the document, but his authorized representatives received it nonetheless.

Please take note that there seems to be no new developments in this case during the past six years. Is Brickman afraid of not being allowed to leave the country (similar to what happened last month to RnB superstar and his fellow American Chris Brown) unless he is able to settle this legal dispute?

While we’re waiting for concerned parties to speak out regarding this issue, please take the time to watch the video below to determine the similarity between Del Castillo’s “If” and Brickman’s “Hope.”

UPDATE, 11AM: TFS already got in touch with Dr. Lera Grace​ Del Castillo, wife of Nelson del Castillo, and she confirmed the accuracy of this post. The camp of Jim Brickman has yet to respond to our request for comment sent via Facebook.

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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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