OFWs, netizens and those watching popular television shows and programs for free using their personal computers or laptops, has to read this.
TV-movie conglomerate ABS-CBN Corporation, ABS-CBNfilm Productions, Inc. and ABS-CBN International has filed suit in US Federal District Court in Florida against 18 pirate sites for damages of over $12 million resulting from infringement of its copyrights and trademarks on popular TV shows and movies.
The defendants are partnerships or unincorporated business associations which operate through domain names with registrars in the U.S. and eleswhere. Their domain names include: buhaypinoyofw.net, freepinoytvshows.net, pinoyloversshowreplay.com, happee-tube.biz, lovelytube.biz, pinoy-telebisyon.biz, pinoy-telebisyon.org, lambingan.tk, movieserye.com, pinaytambayan.org, pinoy-ako.me, pinoymoviegallery.net, pinoytambayan.me, pinoytelesine.com, pinoytopmovies.com, pinoytv.me, projectcabbage.com, tambayanofwtv, telebesyon.com, telebyuwers.ph, telebyuwrs.tv, teleseryereplay.com, yzreplay.com.
According to the complaint, the defendants provide on-demand streaming performances of full-length versions of its programs and movies through the latest content to their servers within minutes or hours of the original broadcast in the Philippines.
The complaint asserts that defendants control the organization and presentation of the content by providing links to its shows and promote and advertise the content as ABS-CBN’s through search engine optimization and meta tags including the use of the firm’s marks, then stream the shows for users’ viewing through their websites. These sites drive significant traffic that enable them to reap profits from advertising and other revenue.
According to the firm’s AVP of Global Anti-Piracy Elisha Lawrence,”this is another phase in our relentless enforcement campaing to identify and punish pirates whose sites have been reported to contain malware that can cause substantial financial harm to innocent people who were just trying to view our shows and movies.”
This latest lawsuit comes in the heels of the police search and seizure by police at the home of Mary Smith in the suburb of Barooga, New South Wales, Australia where numerous pirate DVD’s, DVD burners and hundreds of pirated movies on computer hard drives were located.
Recently, the firm received US$10 million judgment from the U. S. federal district Court of Oregon against Jeffrey Ashby for damages from his infringing the copyrights and trademarks of ABS-CBN by rebroadcasting its shows and movies on his pirate websites. As covered on this post: Online piracy: Illegal hosting of Pinoy teleserye faces prosecution. Among the pirate sites that Ashby owned were watchfilipinotv.com, watchfilipinomovies.com and pinoytalaga.com.