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Filipino media company seeks $2 million per alleged copyright infringement

By Molly English-Bowers | Jan 19, 2016

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FORT LAUDERDALE—A media corporation based in the Philippines and California is suing over alleged trademark and copyright infringement.

ABS-CBN Corporation, ABS-CBN Film Productions Inc. and AGS-CBN International Corporation filed the suit Jan. 12 in U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida against Wilma Manaois, her Facebook page and “Does 1-10.”

The plaintiff is the largest media and entertainment company in the Philippines, producing more than 2,400 hours of original content annually. The suit claims the defendant provides on-demand streaming of full-length versions of the plaintiff's shows through her Pinoy Channel Facebook page. The suit alleges she often uploads the latest content to the Facebook page soon after the original broadcast in the Philippines. The defendant's uploading and streaming of the video content also enables users to copy the TV shows. 

Does 1-10 are individuals, partnerships or unincorporated business associations that operate through social media websites, and comprise unknown individuals and/or business entities. 

Among the claims the plaintiff is making against the defendants are trademark counterfeiting and infringement, unfair competition, and direct infringement of copyright. 

The plaintiff seeks a permanent injunction against Manaois so she can no longer copy or broadcast the defendant's copyrighted works. ABS-CBN also wants other social media sites that may be copying the content from the defendant's Facebook page to receive a similar injunction. It also is seeking an order requiring the defendant to pay the plaintiff triple the profits and damages resulting from the plaintiff's actions, or that the plaintiff be awarded statutory damages in the amount of $2 million for each counterfeit trademark used. In addition, ABS-CBN is seeking court costs and attorney fees. The plaintiff is represented by Stephen M. Gaffigan, Virgilio Gigante and Christine Ann Daley of Stephen M. Gaffigan PA of Fort Lauderdale.

U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Florida Case number 16-cv-60065-WJZ

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Organizations in this Story

ABS-CBN Corporation