Delhi High Court orders Central Government to block 22 rogue websites streaming cricket matches illegally The matter will come up for hearing on 19 December The Delhi High Court has directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and the Department of Technology (DoT) to block 22 'rogue websites' that are illegally streaming various television channels and as well...
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Delhi High Court orders Central Government to block 22 rogue websites streaming cricket matches illegally
The matter will come up for hearing on 19 December
The Delhi High Court has directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and the Department of Technology (DoT) to block 22 'rogue websites' that are illegally streaming various television channels and as well as cricket matches, France Ligue and the LaLiga.
In the Star India Private Limited & Anr v CricHD SC & Ors case, Justice Prathiba M Singh ordered the Central Government to issue blocking orders against these websites within 24 hours. Thereafter, the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) would block access to the websites and their mobile applications.
The Bench ordered, “The DoT and MEITY, as also the ISPs, shall block the defendant Nos.1-22 websites. The blocking orders shall be issued by the DoT within 24 hours after service of this order. Pursuant to the order/s, all the ISP’s, i.e. defendant Nos. 30–38, shall block access to the URL’s, as also the mobile applications within 24 hours and shall not permit the download of these applications or the streaming of the rogue websites.”
Star India had filed a suit seeking injunction against those websites from illegally broadcasting/streaming the upcoming Asia Cup cricket matches and its associated content. It stated that Asia Cup was to commence from 31 August 2023 and that Star India owned the tournament’s exclusive media rights from 2018-2023.
It further contended having an apprehension that owing to the past conduct of those websites, they were likely to illegally stream and telecast the Asia Cup cricketing events.
The Court observed there was no doubt that the websites in question were rogue and comprised pirated content.
Passing an injunction order, the Bench ruled, “Considering the investment which the plaintiffs have made in acquiring the rights of these events, any illegal broadcasting would severely affect the monetary interest of the plaintiffs and diminish the value of the rights of such sporting events.”
It added, “Accordingly, till the next date of hearing, defendant Nos.1 to 22 and all others acting for or on their behalf, shall stand restrained from hosting, streaming, broadcasting, rebroadcasting, retransmitting or in any other manner communicating to the public, or disseminating to the public, any cricketing events, extracts, excerpts, highlights in relation to cricket matches relating to the Asia Cup 2022 commencing from 31 August 2023 to 17 September 2023.”
Additionally, the Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) were also directed to block those websites and ordered to give complete details like name, address, IP address and KYC. “The mode of payment, along with payment details used for registration of domain name by the registrant i.e., defendant Nos.1 to 22 (and such other websites which are discovered during the course of the proceedings and notified on affidavit by the plaintiffs to have been infringing the plaintiffs' exclusive rights, copyrights and broadcast reproduction rights).”
Justice Singh further said that the DNRs would have to provide details of other websites registered by the 22 rogue websites and details of complaints received against them.
Advocates Sidharth Chopra, Yatinder Garg, Akshay Maloo, and Rimjhim Tiwari appeared for Star India.