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IPL 2022: Delhi High Court Orders Blocking Of Rogue Websites Illegally Streaming Cricket Matches

Nupur Thapliyal
15 March 2022 1:38 PM GMT
IPL 2022: Delhi High Court Orders Blocking Of Rogue Websites Illegally Streaming Cricket Matches
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The Delhi High Court has ordered for blocking of 8 rogue websites alleged to be illegally streaming cricket matches of TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. Considering the fact that the match is starting from 26th March, 2022, Justice Pratibha M Singh was of the view that there was an imminent need to protect the investment of the plaintiffs, Star India Private Limited, as also to...

The Delhi High Court has ordered for blocking of 8 rogue websites alleged to be illegally streaming cricket matches of TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. 

Considering the fact that the match is starting from 26th March, 2022, Justice Pratibha M Singh was of the view that there was an imminent need to protect the investment of the plaintiffs, Star India Private Limited, as also to ensure that such Rogue Websites do not illegally stream the said cricket matches.

"The Court has perused the plaint as also the documents. The documentary evidence and the screenshots placed on record prima facie show that the following websites have previously streamed pirated content of the cricket matches for which the Plaintiffs hold Exclusive Rights," the Court noted.

Accordingly, the Court directed Department of Telecommunications and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology to issue orders for the blocking of the websites which include the following:

1. live.flixhub.net

2. stitichsports.com

3. vipleague.im

4. maxsport.one

5. gooal.top

6. t20wc.nl

7. vipstand.se

8. stream.btolat.online

The Court was also prima facie satisfied that the injunction deserved to be granted against any further websites which may suddenly emerge and are found to be showing pirated content or streaming of the said match illegally and unauthorisedly.

The Plaintiffs had filed the suit seeking permanent injunction restraining violation of their broadcasting rights as also for rendition of accounts and damages. The suit was based on the premise that the Plaintiffs had acquired exclusive Media Rights which include Mobile Activation Rights and certain ancillary Rights for the IPL matches for a period of 5 years w.e.f. 1st January, 2018 to 30th September, 2022.

The Plaintiffs therefore sought an injunction against various Rogue Websites. As an example, the plaintiffs submitted that the screenshots of footage from the previous cricket matches including the West India Tour of India 2022 and Sri Lanka Tour of India 2022 was also aired without authorization.

It was thus argued that enormous loss is caused to the Plaintiffs due to the illegal streaming of the cricketing events in which the Plaintiffs own Exclusive Rights.

The Court issued notice and directed that the plaint be registered as a suit. It further directed the Defendants to file their written statement within 30 days. Along with the written statement, the Defendants shall also file an affidavit of admission/denial of the documents of the Plaintiffs.

Meanwhile, on the stay application, the Court said,

"Considering the fact that the Indian Premier League (IPL) series/TATA IPL 2022 is stated to be starting w.e.f. 26th March, 2022, there is an imminent need to protect the Plaintiffs' investment as also to ensure that these Rogue Websites do not stream illegally the cricket matches of TATA IPL 2022," the Court noted.

The Court directed that as and when further websites which stream the contents of TATA IPL 2022 matches illegally and unauthorisedly emerge, an affidavit may be filed by the Plaintiffs along with evidence.

"The said websites shall also stand blocked with immediate effect, upon notice being issued to the ISPs that such an affidavit has already been filed before this Court," the Court added.

It further directed "Upon DoT and MEITY receiving the notices and communications from the Plaintiff that the affidavits have been filed before the Court, the orders for blocking such further Rogue Websites shall be passed, immediately and in any case, within 24 hours, so that the websites do not continue to stream the TATA IPL 2022 content in any manner whatsoever."

Case Title: STAR INDIA PVT. LTD. & ANR. v. LIVE.FLIXHUB.NET & ORS.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 205

Click Here To Read Order 



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