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ABS-CBN sues 40 piracy websites in US for illicit content
The suit, entitled ABS-CBN v. 123Fullpinoymovieshub.com, was already preceded by a preliminary injunction issued by the same court against the pirate websites to 'take down the domains with a serving notice," the company said.
STAR/ File

ABS-CBN sues 40 piracy websites in US for illicit content

Ian Nicolas Cigaral (Philstar.com) - April 21, 2021 - 3:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — Broadcast giant ABS-CBN Corp. has filed a $40-million lawsuit in the US against websites hosting pirated copies of the company-produced films and TV programs.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Lopez-led network said it sued 40 piracy domains in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida for ilegally carrying its content and "infringing its copyrights and trademarks".

The suit, entitled ABS-CBN v. 123Fullpinoymovieshub.com, was already preceded by a preliminary injunction issued by the same court against the piracy websites to "take down the domains with a serving notice," the company said.

Elisha Lawrence, assistant vice president and the media giant's head of global anti-piracy, warned the public from visiting websites that pirate contents since they usually contain malware that can infect computers. 

"Watch our content on safe legitimate services such as ABS-CBN's OTT platform iWantTFC and the TFC channel on all major cable and satellite providers," Lawrence said.

Piracy has long been a problem of the entertainment industry, but their financial impact on TV and movie producers became more pronounced with the pandemic forcing legitimate media owners to stream their productions online instead of traditional cinemas that have remained closed due to the coronavirus.

For ABS-CBN, losses may be more severe after the network also lost its broadcasting business last year after President Rodrigo Duterte's allies in Congress denied it of a new franchise to air. The Lopez-led network has yet to release its full-year 2020 financial performance, but as of September last year, net losses amounted to P7.25 billion. 

Just as streaming services like Netflix are seeing stellar subscriber growth amid lockdowns, the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines in February also reported receiving 121 complaints last year against counterfeiting and  illegal sharing and selling of copyrighted works. Movies and shows were the most reported for piracy, the office said.

"We see it as our job to protect the consumer from the dangers that pirated content brings and, at the same time, provide quality content for their enjoyment," said ABS-CBN Managing Director of North and Latin America Jun Del Rosario.

ABS-CBN CORP. PIRACY LAW
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