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Piracy Of Salman Khan's "Radhe": Delhi High Court Orders WhatsApp & Ors To Suspend Accounts Illegally Sharing Movie

Shreya Agarwal
24 May 2021 6:43 AM GMT
Piracy Of Salman Khans Radhe: Delhi High Court Orders WhatsApp & Ors To Suspend Accounts Illegally Sharing Movie
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In an interim relief against piracy of Bollywood actor Salman Khan's new release "Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai", a single judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula of the Delhi High Court has directed WhatsApp and other social media platforms to forthwith suspend accounts who are illegally sharing and/or selling pirated copies of the movie.Ordering a blanket protection against any form of piracy...

In an interim relief against piracy of Bollywood actor Salman Khan's new release "Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai", a single judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Narula of the Delhi High Court has directed WhatsApp and other social media platforms to forthwith suspend accounts who are illegally sharing and/or selling pirated copies of the movie.

Ordering a blanket protection against any form of piracy of the movie, the Court has restrained any unauthorised storing, reproducing, communicating, disseminating, circulating, copying, selling, offering for sale or making available copies of the film on WhatsApp or any other platform.

The rights-holder for the movie, Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd moved the High Court alleging that several pirated copies of the film, as well as various video clips were being circulated to the public at large for unauthorised viewing, download and storage, and that as the exclusive licensee and holder of various rights in the film, its interests were severely prejudiced due to such piracy.

In protection of its rights, a criminal complaint was already initiated by writing to the Inspector General of Police, Maharashtra Cyber Digital Crime Unit, against known and unknown persons who were allegedly sharing the pirated copy of receipt of payment.

The plaintiff argued that WhatsApp's Terms of Service clearly provided that WhatsApp users could not use the services for violation of intellectual property rights, and therefore, the accounts breaching the terms should be suspended, and eventually terminated.

Relying on WhatsApp communications from infringing accounts, the court observed that, "These messages clearly suggest that these particular accounts in question, are ex facie being used in complete violation of the terms of the policy of Defendant No. 9 and are infringing the copyright of the Plaintiff."

It thus concluded that the Plaintiff had established a prima facie case in its favour and that the balance of convenience also lies in its favour as an irreparable loss would be caused if an ex-parte interim injunction is not granted.

The Court ordered, "Accordingly, till the next date of hearing, Defendant Nos. 1 to 8 and 13, their servants, agents, legal representatives, heirs and any other person acting for or on their behalf are restrained from unauthorisedly storing, reproducing, communicating, disseminating, circulating, copying, selling, offering for sale or making available copies of the film or any other portion thereof, through WhatsApp or any other means or modes, that may infringe the Plaintiff's copyright in the film."

It also directed WhatsApp to forthwith suspend the infringing accounts to ensure that the said Defendants cease the infringement of the Plaintiff's copyright on WhatsApp.

Justice Narula also held, "It is further directed that in the event the Plaintiff brings to the notice of Defendant No. 9, that any other WhatsApp account is being used for the purpose of selling infringing copies of the film, the Defendant No. 9 shall as expeditiously as possible, and not later than 24 hours from the receipt of the request from the Plaintiff, suspend such accounts."

The Court has also directed the Internet Service Providers to disclose the contact details of private individuals listed in the plaint for further steps to effect the service of the summons.

[Zee Entertainment Enterprises vs Tajendra Modi & Ors]

Click Here To Download/Read Order


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