SPN obtains Delhi HC injunction order to protect copyright of India-England cricket series

The order protects SPN against unauthorised and illegal IP disclosure on the internet.

Mumbai: Sony Pictures Networks (SPN) has obtained a Dynamic John Doe injunction order from the Delhi high court to prevent copyright infringement for the India-England international cricket series in July. This will protect SPN against unauthorised and illegal IP disclosure on the internet and other social media platforms.

As per the Dynamic John Doe order, certain multi-system operators (MSO), local cable operators (LCO) and websites/uniform resource locators (URLs) are prohibited from communicating and broadcasting to the public the cricketing series due to their indulgence in piracy and infringing SPN's copyright in the broadcast and digital transmission rights for the cricketing series.

The said order prohibits the websites/URLs in any manner, from hosting, streamlining, reproducing, distributing, making available to the public and/or communicating to the public or facilitating the same on their websites, through the internet in any manner whatsoever, any cinematograph work, content, programme or event in which SPN has copyright.

The said order further prohibits MSOs and LCOs from in any manner hosting, streaming, reproducing, distributing, broadcasting, making available to the public and/or communicating to the public any unauthorised and unlicensed reproduction or broadcast on the local channels or through other means of various copyrighted content, including but not limited to the cricketing series through cable network.

Further, in general, various internet service providers (ISPs) are directed to block access to the websites/URLs. If SPN discovers any other websites / MSOs/LCOs infringing its copyrights in respect of the cricketing series, it can approach the Delhi high court under this John Doe Order and seek requisite reliefs. In addition, a local commissioner has also been appointed to enforce the provisions of the said order against MSOs/LCOs indulging in piracy by unauthorizedly distributing or transmitting/communicating/redistributing the cricketing series without a valid license from SPN.

SPN had acquired an exclusive license from the England and Wales Cricket Board Limited (ECB) to broadcast/communicate the India-England series to the public in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and the Maldives in 2021.

However, the series had to be stopped midway, after four test matches, owing to rising Covid cases. The current John Doe Order protects SPN's copyright for the remainder of the cricketing series, starting July 2022, which comprises one test match, three T20 matches and three one-day international matches.

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