ABS-CBN goes after pirates abroad
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - February 28, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Broadcast giant ABS-CBN continues to go after pirates abroad with new lawsuits filed.

ABS-CBN said it recently filed civil complaints in US Federal Courts against two individuals in a piracy network spanning across US state lines.

The company is seeking damages “in the millions” for allegedly pirating ABS-CBN’s copyrighted content via illegal IPTV boxes.

ABS-CBN said it conducted months-long investigation into the scheme perpetuated by a certain Romula Araneta Castillo and his cousin, Alberto Ace Mayol Alfaro, including undercover purchases from the targets.

The lawsuits allege that Castillo and Alfaro engaged in this multi-state scheme to sell pirated set top boxes to the unsuspecting public.

The pirated set top boxes enabled buyers to access ABS-CBN’s live programming without paying the appropriate fees for such products.

Castillo was arrested on on Feb. 7 by the Los Angeles Police Department, where undercover officers purchased five boxes and confirmed one was streaming illegal content live on the scene.

“We are thankful for the cooperation of the LA Police Dept. in investigating and arresting Castillo, a kingpin in this pirate box scheme. Defrauding the public by selling these fake boxes is a scam operation and preying on innocent people. We are very happy to have the cooperation of the police to enforce against these pirates,” ABS-CBN Global Anti-Piracy head Elisha Lawrence said.

To avoid being a victim of piracy and malware, ABS-CBN urged the public to stay away from pirate websites and illegitimate sales of unauthorized IPTV boxes.

ABS-CBN last December also filed a complaint in the US Federal Court against a certain Anthony Brown and 1700 Cuts Technology for trademark infringement and alleged pirating of the network’s content.

In April last year, ABS-CBN won an anti-piracy case in the US after the US federal district court in Florida ordered 27 pirate site operators to pay $1 million each in damages to the Filipino company.

The said sites were found streaming portals that offer access to Filipino content in the US and abroad.

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