MADRAS: Yesterday, in the case of Viacom18 Media Private Limited v Bharath Sanchar Nigam Limited and others the Madras High Court has restricted more than 12,000 websites from showcasing the FIFA World Cup 2022. Justice M Sundar has also granted the interim injunction to Viacom18
Further, the Court said –
With regard to prima facie case, there is no difficulty in accepting prima facie that the plaintiff is the owner of the Copyright in the Sporting Event. In Terms of balance of convenience, if this interim order is not granted now, it would result in alleged piracy being completed in all and every aspect of the matter.
In reply to this Viacom18 said that they have all the rights to board caste the FIFA World Cup 2022 in different states like Bhutan, Maldives, India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri-Lanka. Further, they said that they had acquired all the necessary broadcasting rights including television rights, broadband transmission rights, mobile transmissions rights and non exclusive radio rights. They also submitted the letter issued by FIFA in this regard confirming their rights.
Viacom18 has also submitted a list of 12037 websites who were infringing upon Viacom18’s exclusive copyright in the sporting event. It was submitted that there was no possibility of blocking the infringing content alone in the websites.
After seeing all the valid documents, the court restrained the respondent internet service providers “or any other person or entity” from infringing the plaintiff’s copyright over the FIFA World Cup sporting event “to prevent copying, transmission, communication, displaying, releasing, showing, hosting, streaming, uploading, downloading, exhibiting, playing and exhibition of the sporting event”.
The court also gave liberty to the respondent ISPs to block the infringing websites. The next date of hearing is on December 16.