Casbaa lauds Philippines in piracy case


 MUMBAI: Casbaa lauded the Philippines Department of Justice (DoJ) for its recommendation in filing of 12 criminal cases under the "information for copyright infringement" law against cable operator Maguindanao Skycable CATV and its directors and officers.

Speaking on behalf of the Casbaa members who filed complaints with the DoJ against Maguindanao Skycable, Casbaa said the DoJ had strengthened the industry's faith in a government commitment to protect intellectual property rights.

"With this decision, the DoJ strongly demonstrates the Philippine government's strong political will to address the worsening pay-TV piracy situation. We are pleased with this development and eager to see the prosecution of the complaints," said Casbaa CEO Simon Twiston Davies.

Casbaa and its members filed the complaints against Maguindanao Skycable for illegally acquiring and transmitting copyrighted programming from channels-AXN, CNN International, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, the Disney Channel, ESPN Star Sports, HBO Asia, MTV Asia, National Geographic, Star Movies, Star World, and Star Sports.

The complaints were filed based on evidence gathered by the National Bureau of Investigation - Intellectual Property Rights Division (NBI-IPRD) following a period of intensive surveillance and a raid on Maguindanao Skycable's offices and head-end in Cotabato City in southern Philippines.

Under the Phillipines Republic Act the accused persons who have illegally transmitted copyrighted programs face a jail term of up to three years and fines amounting to Php 150,000 for the first offense.

The courts may also order a convicted operator to pay damages for economic losses resulting from the unauthorized broadcasting of copyrighted programs.

The Philippine Cable Television Association (PCTA) also welcomed the DoJ resolution, saying it is a "positive step towards creating a competitive Philippine pay-TV market that provides a level playing field for cable operators".


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