DALY CITY, CA, February 16, 2017 – The largest media and entertainment company in the Philippines has filed suit today in US Federal District Court against kissasian.com for damages of over $8M pertaining to Kissasian’s infringement of trademarks and registered copyrights of 27 of ABS-CBN’s television shows and movies including “Be My Lady”, “Born for You”, “Dolce Amore”, “You’re Still the One”, “Etiquette for Mistresses”, “Ex With Benefits”, and many more.
In addition, ABS-CBN Corporation was awarded this week an amended default judgment of nearly $11 million against 11 online streaming websites that the company says regularly showcase pirated versions of its programming.
According to ABS-CBN’s Assistant Vice President of Global Anti-Piracy Elisha Lawrence, “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. 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.”
U.S. District Judge William P. 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.
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 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,” according to Lawrence.
The company had requested at least $2 million in statutory damages per counterfeit trademark used, as well as triple the defendants’ profits from the alleged infringement.
ABS-CBN is represented by Stephen M. Gaffigan. The cases areABS-CBN Corp. et al. v.Kissasian.com., Case No. 0:17-cv-60352 and Case ABS-CBN Corp, et al. v. FreePinoyChannel.com et al., case number 0:15-cv-61002, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.