Delhi High Court: In a suit for permanent injunction restraining the websites from retransmitting, broadcasting, streaming or in any manner communicating to public the cinematograph film ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’, the Single Judge Bench of Prathiba M. Singh, J. granted permanent injunction to Star India Pvt. Ltd. against the rogue websites, thereby restraining them from streaming the said film.
Facts of the Case
The plaintiffs were producers and owners of various television channels, ‘Disney + Hotstar’ mobile application and OTT platform and owned exclusive copyrights in respect of many cinematograph films and other copyrighted content. The present suit was related to a cinematograph film ‘Bhuj: The Pride of India’ which had to be released in 2021-2022 and was based on Indo-Pak war of 1971. The rights in this film were exclusively owned by the plaintiffs and they had apprehensions that the defendant rogue websites were likely to indulge in unlawful streaming of pirated copies of this film which would have adverse monetary impact on the plaintiffs. Thus, the plaintiffs filed the present suit against rogue websites and Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) of some of the domain names, ISPs and DoT & MeitY.
Analysis and Decision
The Court in Star India Pvt. Ltd. v. Yodesiserial. Su, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 5615, granted interim injunction against 42 rogue websites, thereby restraining them from broadcasting the film. But still additional URLs/domain names were found to be illegally streaming the film. On the other hand, domain names, namely, DoT & MeitY stated that they had blocked all the infringing websites upon being intimated about the same by the plaintiffs. The ISPs also followed the said Order. On 11-11-2022, counsel for the plaintiffs submitted that the cinematograph film had already been released on various online and OTT platforms.
The Court held that since the film had already been released and the rights of the plaintiffs were not in question, a permanent injunction was liable to be granted against all the rogue websites and other domain names. In respect of DNRs, the Court held that they should ensure that the impugned domain names were suspended, locked and status quo was maintained in respect of the same.
[Star India Pvt. Ltd. v. Moviesghar.art, 2022 SCC OnLine Del 3819, decided on 14-11-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case:
For the Plaintiff(s): Advocate Yatinder Garg;
For the Defendant(s): Advocate Siddharth Varshney;
Advocate Shweta Sahu;
Advocate Nidhi Mittal;
Advocate Aparna Arun;
Advocate Damini Garg;
Advocate Ojaswa Pathak.