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By Fiona Mehta


In the case of Star India Private Limited v & Ors, the Delhi High Court has restrained 18 websites from illegally streaming the upcoming Ranbri Kapoor starrer movie Brahmastra after Star India filed a suit for ex-parte ad-interim injunction.

Star India had filed a lawsuit in court, claiming that although it is the film’s producer, copyright violations are being committed when the movies are streamed by shady websites as soon as they are shown in theatres. The film is a copyrighted creation of the plaintiff Star India, which made considerable investments in its creation and marketing, according to Justice Jyoti Singh.
The Court further stated that piracy must be stopped, and dealt with harshly, and those rogue websites should not be allowed to screen for protected content without a court order.

The Court ordered that “Defendants No. 1 to 18 and all others acting for and/or on their behalf are restrained from in any manner hosting, streaming, retransmitting, exhibiting, making available for viewing and downloading, providing access to and/or communicating to the public, displaying, uploading, modifying, publishing, updating and/or sharing on their websites through the internet or any other platform, the film ‘Brahmastra Part One: Shiva’ and contents related thereto, so as to infringe the Plaintiff’s copyright therein, till the next date of hearing”.

Various Domain Name Registrars (DNRs) were also ordered by Justice Singh to block or suspend the domain names of these malicious websites. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and the Department of Technology (DoT) have also been instructed to issue notifications requesting that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) block access to the websites.

As the film’s producer, Star India approached the High Court with the claim that any third party who interfered with its exclusive rights would be considered to have violated the copyright.
The court was informed that the movie is scheduled for theatrical distribution on September 9 and that it is customary for a movie to initially be released for theatrical exhibition before being made available for watching on various platforms.

However, the rogue websites in order to make illegal gains make infringing copies and make them available for viewing, downloading and communication to the public, almost simultaneously with the theatrical release of the film, the Court was informed.

Star added that in the past, infringing copies of several movies produced/distributed by the plaintiff were communicated to the public and made available for viewing and downloading, on various websites, within hours of the theatrical release.

The Court said that the plaintiff has made a prima facie case for grant of ex-parte injunction and, therefore, passed the directions for blocking of the websites. It also issued a summons on the suit and made it returnable before the joint-registrar on November 29.

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