Delhi High Court orders blocking of 12 websites illegally streaming Universal City Studios content

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In a copyright infringement case, the Delhi High Court ordered the blocking of 12 websites that were streaming, hosting and making publicly available the original content of Universal City Studios LLC, without its permission .

Observing that Universal City Studios LLC had established a At first glance application for the granting of an ex parte interim order, Judge Jyoti Singh prohibited the 12 websites from hosting, streaming, reproducing, distributing, making available to the public or communicating to the public any cinematographic work or content in which the plaintiffs had copyright .

The Court also ordered the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to take immediate action and issue the required notices, calling on various Internet service providers and telecommunications registered with them to block said websites.

It was plaintiffs’ case that they were among the world’s leading entertainment companies engaged in the creation, production and distribution of motion pictures and motion pictures, having exclusive rights to communicate their content. Plaintiffs’ films being works of visual recording, which include sound recordings accompanying such visual recordings, qualify as “cinematic film” under section 2(f) of the Copyright Act 1957 .

It was therefore argued on behalf of the plaintiffs that the defendants’ websites provided illegal content free of charge and that this availability of content was supported by the advertisements appearing on these websites.

It has also been argued that the primary purpose of the defendants’ websites was to commit or facilitate copyright infringement. Thus, Defendants Nos. 1 through 12 were liable for an offense under Section 51(a)(ii), Section 51(b), and Section 51(a)(i) of the law, for having made a copy of the original content.

It has also been argued that several of the domains or websites sought to be blocked in this proceeding were new iterations of previously blocked domains and that the information collected by the investigator showed that the operators of the websites defendants were using a known “pirate mark”. to alert users that the defendants’ websites were merely new iterations of sites that had been previously blocked.

Accordingly, the Court ordered as follows:

“…in order that this Court be freed from the constant monitoring and adjudication of mirror/redirect/alphanumeric website issues, it is ordered that as plaintiffs file a claim under the order 1 rule 10 CPC for the implementation of these websites, plaintiffs must file an affidavit confirming that the newly implicated website is a mirror / redirect / alphanumeric website that appears to be associated with one of the sites Defendant’s website based on its name, trademark or operator identity, or was discovered to provide additional means of accessing Defendants’ websites and other domains/domains and their sub -domains and sub-directories, website owners/operators/entities found to have infringed upon plaintiffs’ proprietary rights, with sufficient supporting evidence.”

The Court said that plaintiffs must comply with the provisions of Order 39 Rule 3 CPC within 10 days.

Case Title: UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS LLC & ORS. v.VEGAMOVIES.RUN & ORS.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 412

Click here to read the order

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