The Delhi High Court has ordered internet service providers to block access to 34 rogue websites that have been streaming pirated content from various streaming giants and international productions.
The order came after the content owners, including Universal City Studios LLC, Warner Bros Entertainment Inc, Columbia Pictures Industries Inc, Netflix Studios LLC, Paramount Pictures Corporation and Disney Enterprises Inc, filed a suit seeking to permanently restrain these websites from distributing the copyrighted content.
Their petition mentioned that the websites were involved in continuous infringement of copyright of several films and shows, including Mulan, Lego Batman, Finding Nemo, Finding Dory, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, San Andreas and Joker and television series such as Mob Psycho, Friends, Stranger Things, Sacred Games, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures and Arrow, causing immense loss to them.
The plaintiffs contended that the websites in question are anonymous in nature and it is thus virtually impossible to bring the owners before court. So, they also sought an interim direction to block access to the websites in question.
The court agreed there was merit in this argument and said, “There is no gainsaying that these websites are actively streaming motion pictures and television content of the plaintiffs through illegal means. The legal notices issued to them have evoked no response. Such illegal websites made with the primary and sole objective to pirate copyrighted works for their own commercial benefits cannot be permitted to continue doing so, to await the disposal of the suit.”
However, the court directed the complaint to be registered as a suit and issued summons in the same. The next hearing in the matter has been scheduled for May 10.
In the meantime, the internet service providers, who were also listed as defendants in the complaint, have been ordered to block access to the websites in question.
The court also directed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) to issue notifications asking the telecom service providers registered under them to disable access into India of the said websites within 36 hours.