MANILA- ABS-CBN Corp, the country's leading media and entertainment company, filed a $5 million lawsuit on Thursday in the Canadian Federal Court against a couple for copyright and trademark infringement of the company’s copyrighted works.
The lawsuit alleges that Ed Casinillo and Roxy Gonzales sold set-top boxes that were manually programmed by Casinillo to enable buyers to access ABS-CBN copyrighted movies and TV shows.
A photo in Casinillo’s Facebook account shows Gonzales delivering these boxes to his customers.
ABS-CBN’s AVP & Head of Global Anti-Piracy Elisha Lawrence said the two suspects were taking advantage of the company’s free 7-day trial of iWantTFC by registering over 223 emails and distributing the usernames and passwords to his customers.
“These customers were participating in this illegal activity by paying Casinillo and giving Casinillo access to their credit card information,” Lawrence said.
“Beware of these operations that are not licensed or affiliated in any way with ABS-CBN. We will continue to protect customers by shutting these operations down. There is only one genuine ABS-CBN internet subscription service and that is TFC and iWantTFC," Lawrence added.
David Lipkus, counsel for ABS-CBN in Canada, said, “The law in Canada is clear that providing services primarily for the purpose of enabling acts of copyright infringement is not allowed. ABS-CBN will continue to take whatever steps are necessary to stop the distribution of these unauthorized set-top boxes.
"ABS-CBN invests tremendous resources into its high-quality, original content, and will continue to ensure that Canadians have access to legitimate ABS-CBN content,” Lipkus said.
Meanwhile, 3,500 pirated DVDs of copyrighted ABS-CBN movies from Dragon Mart, Tina Shop and Unit 16B of Dragon Centre and Red Carpet Express of Oriental Centre in Toronto, Canada were surrendered to ABS-CBN representatives who attended with the Toronto Police Service on Thursday.
ABS-CBN earlier this month also had a "successful enforcement effort" with the confiscation of hundreds of pirated DVDs of ABS-CBN content from six stores in Montreal and Toronto.
“By now, I think pirates are aware that we are dead serious in implementing the zero tolerance policy of ABS-CBN COO Raffy Lopez when it comes to our anti-piracy efforts,” said ABS-CBN Canada Country Manager Jun Del Rosario.
“We will not let any scammer or pirate compromise the quality of our content, our distribution platforms and viewing experience, and our brand so that they can enrich themselves illegally. We will protect our property and aggressively pursue these criminals.”
news.abs-cbn.com is a news website of ABS-CBN Corp.