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Rogue Websites and Dynamic Injunction

The recent lawsuit concerning the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 has raised critical legal issues surrounding the protection of exclusive media rights in the digital age. The Plaintiffs, who hold exclusive global media rights for various ICC events, including the World Cup 2023, have sought legal recourse against the unlawful dissemination and broadcast of matches by rogue websites. This article delves into the legal implications of this case, focusing on the application of dynamic injunctions to safeguard intellectual property rights in the ever-evolving landscape of online piracy.

The Plaintiffs' claim to exclusive global media rights, which encompass broadcast and digital rights, stems from an agreement dated November 20, 2014, spanning an eight-year period from 2015 to 2023. With the ICC World Cup 2023 on the horizon, concerns have arisen regarding the rampant proliferation of rogue websites that may illegally transmit and broadcast matches or parts thereof to the public. Given the event's global popularity, the likelihood of such unauthorized dissemination is substantial.

Dynamic Injunctions and Their Application:
In the lawsuit, the Plaintiffs invoked a recent ruling in Universal City Studios LLC Vs. 2023:DHC:5842, where the court granted a Dynamic injunction. This innovative legal remedy provides protection not only for existing works but also for future works that may be created during the pendency of the suit. The primary aim is to prevent infringement of intellectual property rights while content is generated, bridging the gap until judicial intervention occurs.

The Court's Interim Injunction:
Recognizing the imminent threat posed by rogue websites engaged in copyright infringement, the Court issued an interim injunction to protect the Plaintiffs' rights during the ICC World Cup 2023. This injunction aimed to prevent unauthorized dissemination of cricket match content and any related information without the Plaintiffs' consent. Importantly, the Court's decision acknowledged the persistent nature of online piracy, with rogue websites likely to persistently distribute protected content to the public.

The Dynamic Injunction:
Underpinning the Court's decision was the concept of dynamic injunctions. The Court authorized the Plaintiffs to notify the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) regarding any rogue websites illegally streaming or communicating content during the ongoing World Cup matches. In response to such notifications, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were obligated to promptly block the infringing websites.

This dynamic injunction mechanism recognizes the evolving nature of online piracy. It empowers copyright holders to swiftly address emerging threats by identifying and blocking rogue websites that may attempt to evade enforcement through the creation of mirror websites or similar tactics. By involving government agencies and ISPs, this approach ensures that intellectual property rights are upheld even in the face of rapidly changing online environments.

The Concluding Note:
The case involving the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023 highlights the significance of dynamic injunctions in safeguarding intellectual property rights, particularly in the context of online piracy. By granting interim protection and enabling swift action against rogue websites, the Court has taken a proactive stance in preserving the exclusivity of media rights.

Case Law Discussed:
Case Title:Star India Pvt. Ltd. Vs Jio Live TV
Date of Judgement:27/09/2023
Case No. CS Comm 688 of 2023
Neutral Citation No: 2023:DHC:7112
Name of Hon'ble Court: High Court of Delhi
Name of Hon'ble Judge: Prathiba M Singh , H J.

Information and discussion contained herein is being shared in the public Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for expert advice as it is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the fact and issue involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor - Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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