ABS-CBN wins $27 million anti-piracy case in US

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star
ABS-CBN wins $27 million anti-piracy case in US

MANILA, Philippines — Media and entertainment giant ABS-CBN Corp. has won an anti-piracy case in the US and is set to receive $27 million in damages.

ABS-CBN said yesterday a US federal district court in Florida has ordered 27 pirate site operators to pay $1 million each in damages to the Filipino company.

The lawsuit, filed in December 2018, targets more than three dozen domain names, including dramaofw.ch, vidco.su, pinoyflixtv.com, pinoytvlovershd.com  and tambayand.com, among others.

ABS-CBN said the sites in question are streaming portals that offer access to Filipino content in the US and abroad.

The sites, it said, attract visitors from all over the world, including the US, where they target Filipinos.

“Defendants’ websites are operating in blatant disregard of the rights of ABS-CBN and willfully infringing ABS-CBN’s intellectual property.  These pirates will be stopped wherever they are in the world,” ABS-CBN assistant vice president of global anti-piracy Elisha Lawrence said.

As part of the ruling, any advertising revenue gained by these pirate websites will have to be handed over to ABS-CBN.

The permanent injunction in this judgment also requires the domain name registrars and registries of the pirate sites to transfer the domain names to ABS-CBN, the TV network added.

ABS-CBN said the legal victory follows similar verdicts in recent years.

With these lawsuits, the company said it has managed to score millions of dollars in damages from a wide variety of streaming sites.

“It is another great legal victory for ABS-CBN. This substantial award by the US federal court sends the strong message that the content owner has the legal right to protect its content from being given away for free by pirates,” Lawrence said.

ABS-CBN, home to the Philippines’ top-rating TV programs, box-office films, and best-selling books and music, is rapidly transitioning into an agile digital company with a growing list of digital properties.

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