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ABS-CBN files $8-M infringement suit against kissasian.com

/ 05:47 PM February 17, 2017
ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center

ABS-CBN Broadcasting Center in Quezon City (Photo by GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE/Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Philippine media giant ABS-CBN Corp. filed an $8 million lawsuit against video streaming website kissasian.com for illegally showing its content, a statement on Friday showed.

ABS-CBN, via an international subsidiary, said it had filed a suit before a United States Federal District Court for damages against kissasian.com for is alleged infringement of trademarks and registered copyrights of 27 of its television shows and movies.

The lawsuit was filed in the US because the programs are registered with the US Copyright Office, a spokesman said.

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Contact information posted on kissasian.com led to a deactivated page on social media platform Facebook.

As of this writing, the website were still allowing users to stream ABS-CBN’s various shows and movies, which formed part of a library of over 60 titles from the Philippines.

The website is also a platform for free content from other countries, such as China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and even North Korea.

North Korea only has one title listed – “Under the Sun,” a documentary that has drawn international criticism for being a Pyongyang propaganda tool.

“We are stepping up our anti-piracy enforcement in 2017,” Elisha Lawrence, ABS-CBN’s assistant vice president of global anti-piracy, said in the statement. “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.”

In the same statement, ABS-CBN said it was awarded this week an amended default judgment of nearly $11 million against 11 online streaming websites that the company said regularly showcased pirated versions of its programming.

In his amended default judgment, US District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas 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.

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Among the pirate websites, Freepinoychannel.com and Pnoytambayantv.com were each ordered to pay $1.18 million in statutory damages, while Lambingan.to, Pinoynetwork.to, and Tambaytayo.com were asked to pay $1.09 million each.

Pinoymovie.to was ordered to pay $1.24 million in statutory damages.

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

ABS-CBN is seeking at least $2 million in statutory damages per counterfeit trademark used, as well as triple the defendants’ profits from the alleged infringement. /atm

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TAGS: ABS-CBN, copyright and trademark infringement suit, Elisha Lawrence, kissasian.com, TV piracy
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