US Federal District Court orders 27 pirate site operators to pay ABS-CBN $27M total in damages
A US Federal District Court in Florida has ordered 27 pirate site operators to each pay $1million for a total of $27 million in damages to media giant ABS-CBN which has scored several victories in US courts this year.
The lawsuit, filed last December 2018, targets more than three dozen domain names, including dramaofw.ch, vidco.su, pinoyflixtv.com, pinoytvlovershd.com, and tambayand.com.
The sites in question are streaming portals that offer access to Filipino content in the US and abroad. These sites attract visitors from all over the world, including the United States, where they target people of Filipino origin.
According to ABS-CBN's Assistant Vice President of Global Anti-Piracy Elisha Lawrence, "Defendants' websites are operating in blatant disregard of the rights of ABS-CBN and willfully infringing ABS-CBN's intellectual property. These pirates will be stopped wherever they are in the world".
ABS-CBN's most recent win follows a pattern of similar verdicts in recent years. With these lawsuits, the company has managed to score dozens of millions of dollars in damages from a wide variety of streaming sites.
Further, as part of this judgment, any advertising revenue gained by these pirate websites will have to be handed over to ABS-CBN.
The permanent injunction in this judgment also requires the domain name registrars and registries of the pirate sites to transfer the domain names to ABS-CBN.
Lawrence added "It is another great legal victory for ABS-CBN. This substantial award by the US federal court sends the strong message that the content owner has the legal right to protect its content from being given away for free by pirates."
NERISSA M. FERNANDEZ
Global Head, Corporate Affairs & PR, ABS-CBN Global
Regional Head, Corporate Affairs & PR, ABS-CBN International (North & Latin America)