A US federal court judge has signed a default judgment awarding ABS-CBN the advertising revenues illegally earned by 32 sites that pirated its content, as well as ownership of the domain names of the sites – a landmark legal victory in the media and entertainment company’s anti-piracy efforts in the US.
ABS-CBN is the first copyright holder to have been granted advertising revenues from pirate sites through the advertising networks such as Google Adsense and MGID, according to Torrent Freak, a major publication dedicated to bringing the latest news about copyright, privacy, and everything related to filesharing.
The default judgment, signed by US District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga, also awards ABS-CBN over a million dollars in statutory trademark infringement damages and orders several of the pirate sites to pay ABS-CBN copyright infringement damages.
It also requires associated registrars and registries to hand over the domain names to ABS-CBN. “So far, several domains have been seized already, but some foreign companies have not complied, most likely because they fall outside the US jurisdiction,” wrote Torrent Freak founder and editor-in-chief Ernesto Van Der Sar.
The article also noted that “the most interesting part of the order, however, is that Judge Altonaga grants ABS-CBN the previously seized advertising revenues.
“The sites in question used advertising services from a variety of well-known networks, including Google Adsense, MGID, Popads, AdsKeeper, and Bidvertiser. None of these companies responded in court after the initial seizure order, suggesting that they did not object.”
Van Der Sar concluded, “This is the first time, to our knowledge, that a copyright holder has been granted advertising revenue from pirate sites in this manner.”
“This could be a common legal tactic going forward because, generally speaking, it is very hard to get money from defaulting defendants who are relatively anonymous, or living in a foreign jurisdiction,” Van Der Sar added. “By going after the advertisers, copyright holders have a good chance of securing some money, at least.”
Van Der Sar also praised ABS-CBN, the country’s leading media and entertainment company, for the “massive impact” of its anti-piracy efforts in the US.
In the story, it was mentioned that ABS-CBN has “filed a series of lawsuits against pirate sites in the US… (and) has already won several cases with damages ranging from a few hundred thousand to millions of dollars. However, the associated injunctions in these cases are perhaps even more significant.”
“We previously covered how ABS-CBN managed to get court orders to seize domain names, without the defendants getting actively involved,” wrote Van Der Sar. “This is also the case in a recent lawsuit where a Florida federal court signed a broad injunction targeting more than two dozen sites that offered the company’s content. The websites, including abscbn-teleserye.com, dramascools.com,tvnijuan.org, pinoydailyshows.com and weeklywarning.org, may not be known to a broad audience but their domain names have all been suspended, linking to a takedown message instead.
“What’s most interesting, however, is that the advertising revenues of these sites were previously frozen. This was done to ensure that ABS-CBN would at least get some money if the defendants failed to respond, a strategy that seems to have paid off.
“After the targeted site owners failed to respond, ABS-CBN requested a default judgment with damages for trademark and copyright infringement.”
ABS-CBN intensified and advanced its anti-piracy efforts in the last three years under former ABS-CBN Global COO Raffy Lopez (now retired and continuing as executive adviser to the president and CEO of ABS-CBN) with the hiring of ABS-CBN’s AVP and head of Global Anti-Piracy Elisha Lawrence.
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The country’s Queen of R&B Kyla celebrates her 18th anniversary in the music industry and makes her recording comeback with the launch of her new single under Star Music entitled “Only Gonna Love You” featuring UK-born, Singapore-based international rapper REQ.
Kyla’s new single was launched simultaneously with its music video, which premiered on music channel MYX on Jan. 19. It is directed by actor John Prats with Sam Milby and Angelica Panganiban of Bright Bulb Productions.
The Cornerstone artist will likewise release her second lead single, “Fix You And Me,” on Feb. 2 (simultaneous with the premiere of its music video, which will have a connection to the just released “Only Gonna Love You” music video.
Kyla’s new singles, “Only Gonna Love You” and “Fix You And Me,” are composed and produced by Star Music’s audio content head, Jonathan Manalo.
These songs will be part of Kyla’s upcoming album which will be launched very soon.
Download a copy of the single “Only Gonna Love You,” now available in digital stores. For more details on Kyla’s singles and upcoming album, visit starmusic.ph, like Star Music on facebook.com/starmusicph, and follow it on Twitter and Instagram @ StarMusicPH.
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SKYdirect is rewarding its subscribers with free movies from Star Cinema on SKY Pay-Per-View until Feb. 2.
Prepaid subscribers with 150, 250 or 450 load and postpaid subscribers who have paid their bill can get free access on the Star Cinema movies Last Night, the reunion movie of Piolo Pascual and Toni Gonzaga, as well as the family drama hit of 2017, Seven Sundays.
In Last Night, Carmina (Toni) and Mark (Piolo) meet at a low point in their lives, and as their friendship and attachment to each develop, they ponder on their lives and on a decision that will change everything.
Meanwhile, viewers can watch a heartwarming story for the family in Seven Sundays. Manuel Bonifacio (Ronaldo Valdez) will try to make his family whole again after being diagnosed with cancer. He sees it as an opportunity to unite his four children (Aga Muhlach, Dingdong Dantes, Enrique Gil, and Cristine Reyes), who will try to set aside their differences for their father.
To avail of the free movies, visit www.mysky.com.ph/skydirectfreeppv. For those that do not have SKYdirect yet, they can call 418-0000 or text SKY to 23668.
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Pushing its advocacy to promote Filipino performing arts a step further, the country’s premier entertainment and tourism destination Resorts World Manila (RWM) is set to stage another epic all-Filipino production this August in Ang Huling El Bimbo following Ian Fleming’s family musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which re-opens on Feb. 22.
The upcoming production, presented by RWM with Full House Theater Company Entertainment and Productions, Inc. (FHTC), will be RWM’s ninth stage offering that will celebrate the songs of one of the country’s most influential rock bands of all-time. The musical also features a stellar production crew headed by one of the most respected stage directors today, Dexter Santos.
Auditions for supporting and ensemble roles are slated on Jan. 26 and 27, 3 to 8 p.m. at the rehearsal room of the Newport Performing Arts Theater, third floor of Newport Mall.
Male and female artists, aged 20 to 50 years old are welcome to audition and will be asked for their résumés with one head shot photo and one half body shot photo, and a minus one of a Tagalog pop rock song in USB or Flash Drive.
A 10-day workshop for the production’s cast starts on June 11, while rehearsals are slated on June 25 onwards. Opening night for Ang Huling El Bimbo is slated in August at RWM’s Newport Performing Arts Theater.