ABS-CBN files $8-M damage suit vs pirate site

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ABS-CBN Corporation filed a lawsuit on Friday for $8 million in damages in a US Federal District Court against alleged pirate site kissasian.com for infringement of trademarks and registered copyrights of 27 of ABS-CBN’s television shows and movies.

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This week, the media network said it was awarded an amended default judgment of nearly $11 million against 11 online streaming websites that the company says regularly showcased pirated versions of its programming.

“We are stepping up our anti-piracy enforcement in 2017. These pirate sites often victimize our fans when they access these sites and are later attacked by malware which steals their financial and personal data,” Elisha Lawrence, ABS-CBN’s assistant vice president of Global Anti-Piracy, said in a statement.

“We are going after every pirate wherever they live and operate. We arrested and sued numerous pirates last year and we plan to quadruple that effort this year,” Lawrence added.

US District Judge William Dimitrouleas, in his amended default judgment, ordered the defendants to pay at least $1 million each in statutory damages. The judge also ordered the defendants to stop advertising,
promoting, performing, copying, broadcasting or distributing ABS-CBN’s copyrighted work, which includes a variety of television programming.

Freepinoychannel.com and Pnoytambayantv.com were each ordered to pay $1.18 million in statutory damages, while Lambingan.to, Pinoynetwork.to and Tambaytayo.com are on the hook for $1.09 million each. Pinoymovie.to was ordered to pay $1.24 million in statutory damages.

The sites provide on-demand streaming performances of full-length versions of television shows and movies through their sites, according to the suit.

“Defendants’ websites are classic examples of pirate operations, often with poor quality. We invest a great deal in our television shows and movies so the customers have a superior viewing experience. These pirates are willfully infringing ABS-CBN’s copyrighted works and damaging the ABS-CBN brand,” Lawrence said.

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