Delhi HC restrains over 200 entities from carrying audio or radio streaming of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Delhi HC restrains over 200 entities from carrying audio or radio streaming of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

Aditi Singh

The Delhi High Court has restrained over 200 entities from carrying any audio or radio streaming of the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

While 64 entities are websites and 4 are private radio platform operators, 140 are unknown entities, arrayed as “Ashok Kumars”.

An ex parte ad interim injunction was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice JR Midha in a suit by the plaintiff, Channel 2 Group Corporation.

The plaintiff has the exclusive right to exploit the audio rights as well as the right to negotiate and conclude license agreements with sub-licensees with respect to the coverage of matches of the Cricket World Cup.

To this end, the plaintiff had entered into an audio rights agreement with ICC Business Corporation FZ LLC, which is the organiser of the men’s Cricket World Cup, 2019.

The plaintiff moved the High Court on the apprehension that the defendants were likely to abuse its exclusive audio rights and intellectual property rights arising out of the agreement. The apprehension was based on previous instances of infringement of the plaintiff’s exclusive broadcasting rights, which caused considerable financial loss to the company.

The plaintiff claimed that the defendants were not authorised or licensed to make any audio or radio broadcasts or to stream or report any live or deferred update pertaining to any ICC event, including any of the matches of the World Cup.

Thus, any unauthorised audio or radio broadcasts, and live or deferred updates by the defendants would be illegal and amount to piracy, it was stated.

Stressing on the unique nature of online piracy and the unstructured nature of the internet, the plaintiff contended that if it were to wait and identify specific parties and collect evidence of infringement by such parties, significant time would be lost and the cricket matches may come to an end.

This would cause irreparable injury, loss and damage which would be impossible to quantify in monetary terms alone, the plaintiff argued.

After hearing the plaintiff, the Court stated that it was “satisfied that ex-parte interim order is warranted in the facts of the present case”.

It thus restrained the defendants from broadcasting and communicating to the public any live or deferred audio or radio streaming of the World Cup, through any means, without the authorization of the plaintiff, till the next date of hearing.

However, any defendant complying with the interim order of the Court would be allowed to broadcast the score update after a time lag of 15 minutes, the Court added.

It has further directed the ISPs to block access to the unlicensed content of the infringing websites.

Search engines have also been asked to take down search results pages, listings of websites/ URLs found infringing upon the plaintiff’s copyright and broadcast reproduction rights, as and when notified.

The plaintiff was represented by Advocates Jayant Mehta, Deepak Biswas, Anu Srivastava, Subhlaxmi Sen and Atmaja.

The matter will be heard next on September 4.

Read the order:

Bar and Bench - Indian Legal news