Viacom18 secures injunction order to prohibit pirate websites to air IPL 2023

The Hon'ble Madras High Court was delighted to recognise the imperative and hear Viacom18's Interim Applications.

For the Tata Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, Viacom18 has obtained an injunction order against numerous pirate websites, Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and John Does/Ashok Kumars/Unknown Defendants. The competition will be streamed/hosted/exhibited/transmitted digitally purely on Viacom18’s permitted platforms for the first time.

Viacom18 has obtained an injunction order in a Commercial Suit filed before the Hon’ble Madras High Court to prevent unauthorised digital streaming/ hosting/ downloading/ exhibiting/ transmitting of the Tata IPL 2023. The prestigious event is tentatively scheduled to begin on March 25 and will conclude on May 20. The Hon’ble Madras High Court was delighted to recognise the imperative and hear Viacom18’s Interim Applications. The Court observed that a prima facie case for an interim injunction had been established and further held that the grant of an injunction would be required to prevent irreparable loss/injury from occurring.

The injunction order prohibits more than 4,750 specific websites, ISPs, and unknown parties from streaming/hosting/downloading/exhibiting/transmitting or making available content that contravenes Viacom18’s copyrights in the event. Viacom18 will now be required to set up the ‘fielding’ by commencing supercilious action against any company or individual that continues to breach its copyrights, which could include initiating criminal action, after hitting a ‘maximum’ with this Injunction Order and putting up a big ‘score’ on the board.

Injunction orders in the nature of John Doe/ Ashok Kumar reconfirm the owner/licensee/assignee of Intellectual Property rights’ faith. Such Court orders give rights holders more clout in their fight against infringement because they direct ISPs to block websites/ webpages, if necessary, to give effect to the injunction order.

Viacom18 Media Pvt. Ltd. General Counsel Anil Lale, said, “We are a nation where Cricket is nothing short of religion and the Indian Premier League has over the years grown into one of the most anticipated sporting events. We at Viacom18 are proud to be the exclusive digital broadcaster for IPL and this Order will be a shield against bouncers from Pirates.

“We at Viacom18 have always tried to be one step ahead of infringers/ pirates by being proactive in our pre-emptive strategy by initiating quia timet actions. In the recent past, we have been successful in procuring injunctive reliefs in various sports events like Road Safety World Series League, Diamond League, La Liga and the FIFA World Cup 2022. While we are proud to say that we have won several battles against these pirate websites, the war against piracy will continue.”

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