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Delhi HC grants Viacom18 injunction for exclusive Indian cricket broadcast rights

The Delhi High Court has passed an order in favour of Viacom18, restraining rogue websites from illegally streaming matches of the Indian cricket team.

Viacom18 recently bagged BCCI’s television and digital rights after a three-way bidding war also involving Sony and Star. As a result, for the next five years, all bilateral matches involving the Indian cricket team to be played in India, along with domestic cricket, shall be broadcast/streamed by Viacom18 on its television and OTT properties.

The court ordered the blocking of eight websites named by Viacom in its suit, and directed Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) and the Centre to block any other offending website that Viacom may communicate to them in the future.

These rogue websites were streaming and broadcasting cricket matches, infringing upon Viacom’s exclusive copyright.

Justice C. Hari Shankar observed that it’s common for such rogue websites to emerge before events and start streaming content over which others hold copyrights.

The court called on the legislature to formulate a policy to prevent such disputes from burdening the courts.

The court also found that Viacom18 had made a prima facie case for interim relief and issued injunction orders against the rogue websites.

It also directed the DNRs to suspend domain names and disclose complete details, while Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were instructed to block access to these websites. The Shillong Times

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