The Delhi High Court has restrained 39 rogue websites from hosting or streaming the upcoming India-England International Cricket Series in violation of the broadcasting rights held by SONY TEN Network channels Justice Sanjeev Narula noted that the Plaintiff — Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited which owns and operates the ‘SONY TEN Network’ of channels — has exclusive media rights over the sporting event and has made out a prima facie case in its favour for protection against the illegal transmission, broadcasting, communication, telecast and unauthorised distribution of any event, match, footage, etc concerning the series.
The court also restrained the distribution platform operators from making available to the public any unauthorized and unlicenced broadcast of the copyrighted content on the local channels and directed the central government to issue necessary directions calling upon various ISPs, in general, to block access to the websites of rogue websites as well as their mirror/redirect/alphanumeric versions Justice Narula said that the balance of convenience lies in favour of the plaintiff and it is likely to suffer irreparable loss and injury if an injunction is not granted in its favour and directed the internet service providers to block access to these websites.
“Defendants No. 1 to 39 (f1.mylivecricket.live and others) are restrained from, in any manner, hosting, streamlining, reproducing, distributing, making available to the public and/or communicating to the public or facilitating the same on their websites through the internet in any manner whatsoever, any cinematograph work, content, programme, and show or event in which the Plaintiff has copyright,” said the court in its interim order dated June 29.
“Defendants No. 40 to 57 (distribution platform operators) and 92 (unknown person) are restrained from, in any manner to host, stream, reproduce, distribute, broadcast, make available to the public and/or communicate to the public any unauthorized and unlicenced reproduction or broadcast on the local channels or through other means of various copyrighted content, including but not limited to the matches of the said sporting events through cable network,” the court added.
India-England International Cricket Series 2022 is scheduled from July 1, 2022, to July 17, 2022. The tournament consists of one test match, three Twenty20 matches, and three One-Day International matches.
The plaintiff told the court that it holds an exclusive license concerning television and media rights from England and Wales Cricket Board Limited (ECB) to broadcast/communicate the sporting event to the public in the territories of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, and the Maldives.
The plaintiff said that its lawsuit was initiated against the websites that are habitual defaulters and that the unauthorized broadcast of the matches would result in losses to it as well as the government in terms of revenue collected through taxes which is not recovered /recoverable from these pirated websites. PTI