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Injunction for Copyright Infringement against Rogue Websites
Trademarkclick .com 25 Apr 2019

Injunction for Copyright Infringement against Rogue Websites

On 10th April 2019 by The High Court of Delhi at New Delhi, ordered an injunction restraining rogue websites who infringed copyright works of UTV Software Communications & Ors.

Eight suits have been filed by UTV Software Communications & Ors. and Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation & ORS against 1337X TO and ORS, seeking an injunction restraining copyright infringement. The Defendants are accused of communicating the plaintiffs' original content/cinematographic works without authorization to the public. The Plaintiffs are a mass media conglomerate owned by Walt Disney Co. Ltd India. In this case, thirty websites are arrayed as defendants.

The plaintiffs alleged that the websites of the defendants allow streaming and downloading of copyrighted content of the plaintiffs. The business model of defendants is supported by revenue generated through advertisements, which are displayed on their websites. In connection with Section 65 of The Indian Evidence Act 1872, printouts and screenshots of infringement are gathered as evidence. The Plaintiffs prayed before the court to issue a permanent injunction restraining the defendants. They also made a prayer for an order directing Internet Service Providers to block access to the websites of the Defendants and directing registrar’s of the Defendant websites to disclose all communication details. However, the defendants didn’t the response to the summons and therefore the matter was decided ex parte (one side only). There were learned amicus curiae (friend for the court) for assisting the Court.

This is a case of online piracy which means an infringement of the copyright of a cinematography work in the cyberspace. Both Civil and Criminal remedies are available for the copyright holder. Here the Plaintiffs had applied for civil remedies.

The learned Advocates of Plaintiff supported their claim through various judgements of foreign courts. According to the judgements, most of the sites of Defendants were blocked. The Delhi High Court held that the Defendant-websites are liable for copyright infringement under Section 51 of the Copyright Act. Referring a decision of Singapore High Court, The Hon'ble Delhi Court ordered to block the Defendant-websites. The Court also held that these websites are rogue websites which are engaged in unethical practices.

Cinematography works should get an appropriate reward. Online piracy shrugs the credit of the work. Hence, The Court sought a suggestion of a fine from DOT and MEITY against the users of pirated content.

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