Star India Private Limited V/S Jiolive.Tv & Ors. [CS(COMM) 688/2023 & I.As. 19115/2023, 19116/2023, 19117/2023, 19118/2023, 19119/2023]
The Delhi High Court granted the interim injunction in favour of Star India for broadcast during ICC World Cup 2023.
Recognizing the imminent threat posed by rogue websites engaged in copyright infringement, the single judge bench of Justice Prathiba M. Singh issued an interim injunction to protect the Plaintiffs’ rights during the ICC World Cup 2023.
This injunction aimed to prevent unauthorized dissemination of cricket match content and any related information without the Plaintiffs’ consent. Importantly, the Court’s decision acknowledged the persistent nature of online piracy, with rogue websites likely to persistently distribute protected content to the public.
The Plaintiffs’ claim to exclusive global media rights, which encompass broadcast and digital rights, stems from an agreement dated November 20, 2014, spanning an eight-year period from 2015 to 2023. With the ICC World Cup 2023 on the horizon, concerns have arisen regarding the rampant proliferation of rogue websites that may illegally transmit and broadcast matches or parts thereof to the public. Given the event’s global popularity, the likelihood of such unauthorized dissemination is substantial.
In the lawsuit, the Plaintiffs invoked a recent ruling in Universal City Studios LLC Vs. Dotmovies.baby 2023:DHC:5842, where the court granted a Dynamic injunction. This innovative legal remedy provides protection not only for existing works but also for future works that may be created during the pendency of the suit. The primary aim is to prevent infringement of intellectual property rights while content is generated, bridging the gap until judicial intervention occurs.
The Court authorized the Plaintiffs to notify the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) regarding any rogue websites illegally streaming or communicating content during the ongoing World Cup matches. In response to such notifications, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were obligated to promptly block the infringing websites.
This dynamic injunction mechanism recognizes the evolving nature of online piracy. It empowers copyright holders to swiftly address emerging threats by identifying and blocking rogue websites that may attempt to evade enforcement through the creation of mirror websites or similar tactics. By involving government agencies and ISPs, this approach ensures that intellectual property rights are upheld even in the face of rapidly changing online environments.