CASBAA appeals against cable firm on copyright issue

MUMBAI: Members of the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA) have filed a motion for reconsideration at the court of appeals in Manila against Telmarc Cable Corp, a local cable operator.

CASBAA has asked for a reversal of an appellate court decision to nullify search warrants issued against the local cable operator, for acts of copyright infringement.

"Protection of intellectual property is our highest concern and piracy is a real threat to the legitimate cable TV industry in the Philippines. The industry has no choice but to energetically appeal the appellate court decision. We believe that a comprehensive look at the evidence submitted to the Regional Trial Court in 2005 will lead the judiciary to reverse its ruling on the search warrants issued by that court.This will give the message that the government is serious in its battle against cable piracy," said CASBAA CEO Simon Twiston Davies.


In its motion for reconsideration, CASBAA maintains that judge Antonio Eugenio Jr. of the regional trial court of Manila strictly complied with the rules on the issuance of search warrants by personally examining the facts and circumstances presented by National Bureau of Investigation Intellectual Property Rights division senior agent Joel Tovera and other witnesses under oath during the search warrant application hearings.

CASBAA also asserted that after an exhaustive process of probing the merits of the application, the warrants were issued based on real probable cause of illegal and unauthorised decoding, rebroadcast and performance of copyrighted programs from major content providers such as Discovery Asia, HBO, AXN, Buena Vista (Walt Disney Television International) CNN International, Star Group, National Geographic and ESPN Star Sports.

Representatives of the legitimate Philippine cable industry welcomed CASBAA‘s decision to appeal. "We believe the case filed by CASBAA is very strong and we are confident that the Court of Appeals will respond favorably," said Cable Boss (a major local pay-TV distributor) COO Timothy Bautista.

CASBAA has 120 corporations that in turn serve more than three billion people across Asia. It was responsible for bringing several cable piracy complaints to the NBI in 2005.

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