Thousands of Filipinos working on contract overseas jobs, commonly known for short as OFWs, drive away their homesickness and longing for things Pinoy, resort to watching Filipino-produced television programs and movies which are always available for free on the internet.
News updates, teleseryes, lifestyle programs, variety shows. Name it and the internet is a-buzz of the recorded programs at the click of a mouse.
But things free and good do not last forever. Most of the times, it would come with a steep prize.
Recently, the giant media group of ABS-CBN ran after persons or entities uploading its produced programs in the internet. Uploaders were hosting replays of ABS shows on various servers and carrying different and various domain names. Some were hosted in blogging platforms like Google’s free Blogspot.com.
One team of these uploaders were finally “caught” by the network now facing alleged copyright and trademark infringement case at the Oregon (USA) Federal Court in August of this year. Their bank accounts are currently freezed, including the ad revenues on the operation of the websites.
The couple allegedly own numerous pirate sites which infringe upon the copyrights and trademarks of ABS-CBN. The network is seeking up to $10 million in damages.
To name a few, here’s some of the websites which include PinoyMovieFan.com, Watchfilipinotv.com, and Watchfilipinomovies.com.
Some other sites are already “padlocked” by the court with a restraining order, too. Other “operators” will meet their court time very soon.
For the meanitme, OFWs continue to watch illegal websites streaming canned videos not only of ABS-CBN, but also of GMA, TV5, PTV, etc. Soon, the law will catch up with them, too. And what about the OFWs and other avid watchers of these illegal sites? Easily, IP address of internet connections, providers, location and the desktop/notebook/etc of every user can be identified. They will be prosecuted too.
But hey, the broadcast channels based in the United States of America, replay their canned shows on their self-hosted websites for free like the ABC or the CBS or the NBC , among others. Take note, the streams are in high definition, too, but needs high speed internet on the part of the viewer.
Why Pinoy channels seek more revenue on their low budget, some with low quality shows, is not a secret. It starts with “G.”