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  • Writer's pictureAnkita Sabharwal

Curbing the rogue menace: Delhi HC restrains unauthorized broadcast of recent cricket series

In a recent IP dispute, the Delhi High Court, in its endeavor to curb the menace of rogue websites, restrained 39 rogue websites from hosting or streaming the India-England International Cricket Series[1].

The instant petition was filed by Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited (hereinafter the “Plaintiff”), who owns and operates the “SONY TEN Network” of channels. Vide its Petition, the Plaintiff asserted that it had acquired an exclusive license from England and Wales Cricket Board Limited (ECB) to broadcast the India England International Cricket Series 2022 in the licensed territories held from July 1st-July 17, 2022.

The Plaintiff discovered that certain rogue websites had been habitually defaulting and infringing on its exclusive broadcasting rights of such matches in the past. Thus, to prevent these websites from broadcasting pirated content, the Plaintiff instituted a suit for infringement in the Delhi High Court.

The Plaintiff filed the present suit seeking a permanent injunction to restrain these rogue websites from infringing the rights in the India-England Cricket Series 2022, which was recently held.

The Court, while noting that the balance of convenience lies in favor of the Plaintiff, restrained the distribution platform operators from making available to the public any unauthorized and unlicensed broadcast of the copyrighted content on the local channels. Apart from this, the Hon’ble Court also 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.

Certain other interim directions issued by the Hon’ble Court included blocking access to certain rogue websites as well as granting liberty and permission to the Plaintiff to file an application against any other rogue website which they may discover at a belated stage.

Orders of this nature serve as a testimony to the commitment of the Indian judiciary to upholding the rights of authorized owners on both tangible and intangible means.

[1] Culver Max Entertainment Private Limited v. F1.MyLiveCricket.Live, CS (COMM) 439 of 2022, decided on 29-06-2022


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