The Madras High Court has granted an interim injunction, restraining several Internet Service Providers (ISP) and over 1300 websites, from any unauthorised screenings of the upcoming film Vikram, after the production company Raaj Kamal Films International (RKFI) filed a petition, seeking ISPs and websites from infringing the film.
The hearing was presided over by Justice C Saravanan.
Ahead of the film’s release, RKFI filed a petition against ISPs and websites listed as respondents, who were reportedly infringing the film’s copyrighted work. RKFI stated that the respondents were “involved in recording, cam-cording, and reproducing the audio songs, audio-visual clips, audio-visual songs and full-length feature films” that are screened at cinema halls, and then circulate them across various mediums. The banner further claimed that the content recorded was circulated among the public for a “meagre sum”, without any authorisation from the rightful owners (RKFI), thus leading them to incur losses.
Submitting a list of 1308 websites that contain such unlicensed or unauthorised content, RKFI argued that such websites do not have any “takedown” method, where violations could be reported. The production house noted that such websites have been notorious for not taking down the content, even when reported, in previous situations.
The petitioner also referred to the infringement under Section 14 (1)(d), 16 of the Copyrights Act 1957, which will be violated, if the said websites circulate the unauthorised content by making them available to the public via cable television or an online medium.
Thus, the banner moved the court out of “abundant caution” that could otherwise, not only affect the banner’s profits, but also the other parties associated with the banner as well as the public, who would not benefit from being exposed to the “poor quality” of the film.
Taking the reasons into consideration, the High Court granted an interim injunction on the ISPs and websites from the unauthorised use of the content from the film.
Vikram is led by Haasan, alongside Vijay Sethupathi, Fahadh Faasil, Suriya in a cameo role, Narain, Gayathrie, Kalidas Jayaram, Shivani Narayanan, and Arjun Das among others. After its theatrical run, the film is set to stream on Disney+ Hotstar.