Florida Court Orders ‘Pirate’ Site KissAsian to Pay 1.8M in Damages

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A Florida court has ordered the operators of KissAsian to pay $1,810,000 in damages for copyright and trademark infringement offenses. The default judgment is in favor of media giant ABS-CBN, which managed to score several victories in US courts this year. Despite the hefty verdict and the loss of its domain name, KissAsian continues to serve pirated content.

ABS-CBN, the largest media and entertainment company in the Philippines, continues its legal campaign against pirate sites in the US.

The company has singled out dozens of streaming sites that offer access to ‘Pinoy’ content without permission, both in the US and abroad.

This week a federal court in Florida signed a default judgment against KissAsian, one of the biggest targets thus far. Since the defendants failed to show up it was a relatively easy win.

The lawsuit in question was filed in February and accused KissAsian of both copyright and trademark infringement. According to ABS-CBN, the site was using its trademarks and copyrighted content to draw visitors and generate profit.

“ABS-CBN is suffering irreparable and indivisible injury and has suffered substantial damages as a result of Defendant’sunauthorized and unlawful use of the ABS-CBN Marks and Copyrighted Works,” the complaint read.

When the operators of the pirate site failed to respond to the allegations, the media company asked for a default judgment. United States District Judge William Dimitrouleas has now approved the company’s request, granting it $1 million in trademark damages, and another $810,000 for copyright infringement.

The order (pdf)

In addition, the judge granted a request to hand over the KissAsian.com domain name to ABS-CBN, which hasn’t happened thus far.

While the order is a clear win for the Philippine media conglomerate, it might be hard to recoup the damages from the unknown operators of the site. In fact, it doesn’t appear that the site is going to cease its activities anytime soon, as the order requires.

Soon after KissAsian.com was put at risk, the site’s operators simply relocated to a new domain name; KissAsian.ch.

“We are transferring domain, new domain is kissasian.ch, and kissasian beta mirror is not working temporarily, it will be done in next 5-10mins. Sorry for the inconvenience!” a statement on Facebook reads.

And so it continues.

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