ABS-CBN Corp. said a US Federal District Court in Florida has ordered 27 pirate site operators to each pay $1 million in damages to the local broadcasting company.
ABS-CBN has scored several victories in US courts this year.
The lawsuit, filed in December, covered over 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.
Elisha Lawrence, ABS-CBN’s assistant vice president of Global Anti-Piracy, said “defendants’ websites are operating in blatant disregard of the rights of ABS-CBN and willfully infringing ABS-CBN’s intellectual property.”
She said the “pirates will be stopped wherever they are in the world.”
ABS-CBN’s most recent legal victory follows a pattern of similar verdicts in recent years. With the lawsuits, the company has managed to score dozens of millions of dollars in damages from a wide variety of streaming sites.
As part of the judgment, any advertising revenue gained by these pirate websites must be handed over to ABS-CBN.
The permanent injunction in the ruling also requires the domain name registrars and registries of the pirate sites to transfer the domain names to ABS-CBN.
“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,” Lawrence added.