Hacker arrested for pirating ABS-CBN shows, to face $6M damage suit

Police have arrested a Filipino hacker in Bataan for pirating ABS-CBN shows. The man will face a $6 million damage suit to be filed by the Kapamilya network.

According to a report aired Tuesday on the late night newscast Bandila, Jonathan Dela Cruz was caught by the Philipppine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group in a secluded area in Mariveles, Bataan, while in the act of uploading ABS-CBN programs.

The hacker has allegedly created a website that illegally replays movies, various television series, news and other programs of ABS-CBN and other TV networks. In the same site, he has reportedly started collecting subscription fees for the live streaming of the Pacquiao vs. Mayweather mega-fight which he will allegedly pirate from ABS-CBN. Most television networks in the Philippines will air the bout simultaneously on May 3.

Supt. Bernardo Yang, chief of the PNP-ACG Cybercrime Response Unit, told ABS-CBN News that the suspect earns money when visitors of his website view copyrighted movies.

According to the report, Dela Cruz is an IT professor in one of the universities in Bataan and member of a well-known fraternity group. A reliable source informed us that he graduated from and teaches Information Technology at Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP). The same source said Dela Cruz just arrived from Hong Kong hours before he was nabbed.

In the interview, the suspect said he copies embed codes from Facebook and other video-sharing websites and puts these on his Blogspot sites.

Dela Cruz confessed that his usual victims are overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), whom he charges with subscription fees that range between 40 to 50 US dollars. He acknowledged that it is a copyright case and admitted that it is an act of piracy, but denied that he is the source of the videos. The suspect also admitted that he is aware that what he was doing is illegal since it involves distribution of copyrighted materials.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN Global Anti-Piracy assistant vice president Elisha Lawrence advised viewers not to patronize free livestreaming websites.

She said there have been "numerous reports of malware on these free sites which infect viewers' computers allowing hackers to invade people's computers and view their financial records, steal their credit card numbers, photoshop photos that they find in their hard drives and send to [pornographic] sites."

Aside from charges to be filed by the PNP for violation of intellectual property, ABS-CBN International will also launch a $6M damage suit against Dela Cruz in a US federal court, according to the report.