SAN FRANCISCO – A US court has ruled in favor of Philippine media and entertainment company ABS-CBN in its lawsuit against 21 websites illegally distributing ABS-CBN content.
The South Florida District Court order includes an award of over $ 1 million in damages against each of the 21 website operators. The websites associated with these illegal operations are streaming portals providing free access to ABS-CBN content in the United States and abroad.
Due to the defendants’ failure to appear in court or participate in the trial, the court approved ABS-CBN’s claim for $ 1 million in trademark damages against each of the site’s operators. Here are the defendants by number and by domain name:
In addition, six of the defendants were ordered to pay between $ 30,000 and $ 90,000 in damages for copyright infringement.
Additionally, thephilipinochannel.su was ordered to pay an additional $ 10,000 in cybersquatting damages for its domain name, which looks like one of ABS-CBN’s trademarks.
The ordinance includes a provision requiring advertising service providers to return all limited revenue generated by websites. These funds were previously frozen in a temporary restraining order against the defendants.
The sites were also ordered to cede their domain names to ABS-CBN so that they could no longer be used as a source for their counterfeiting activities. If the current domain registrars are not compliant, ABS-CBN can escalate the order to the controlling registry, which will then be responsible for putting the domains on hold and removing them from the TLD zone files.
To date, ABS-CBN has successfully removed 18 of the offending domains.
“There is a way to stop hackers and the US justice system makes it possible,” said Elisha Lawrence, global head of piracy and content security at ABS-CBN.
“The demand for ABS-CBN content around the world remains high and many will take advantage of it illegally. They can try, but as soon as possible the long arm of the law will catch up with them. ”