Asia cable org sues over copyright

Operators raided by National Bureau for illegally trasmitting material

The Cable & Satellite Broadcasting Assn. of Asia, representing 110 cable TV companies, has filed 12 new copyright-infringement lawsuits against Maguindanao Skycable.

Maguindanao, based in the southern Philippines city of Cotabato, is one of several cable operators raided in September by the National Bureau of Investigation’s Intellectual Property Rights Division for illegally acquiring and transmitting copyrighted programming.

Casbaa claims Maguindanao continued to air cable channels without authorization even after the raid.

The org filed the complaints with the Dept. of Justice on behalf of channels AXN, CNN Intl., Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, the Disney Channel, ESPN Star Sports, HBO Asia, MTV Asia, National Geographic, Star Movies, Star World and Star Sports.

Casbaa CEO Simon Twiston Davies said the Philippine government lost some $40 million last year as a result of pay TV piracy.

The Philippine Cable Television Assn. said eliminating cable signal piracy could easily double the number of subscribers in the country. Beyond the 1.5 million paying subs, an estimated 500,000 are illegally connected.

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