The Madras High Court granted interim relief to Viacom 18 by restraining several websites from illegally broadcasting FIFA World Cup 2022.
Plaintiff has taken out this application claiming that plaintiff was granted licence by Federation Internationale De Football Association (FIFA) qua FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Plaintiff was granted various media rights including exclusive television rights, radio rights, mobile transmission rights and broadband transmission rights for the territories of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Plaintiff has exploitation rights including distribution, broadcast, stream the Series/Event within the defined territories.
The event has been promoted on the internet all over the World. It has been averred in the captioned application that the event shall be broadcast from 20.11.2022.
The plaintiff submitted that several cable and internet service providers are involved in illegal activities and unauthorised retransmitting, recording, streaming, audio-visual clips and full sports event that are transmitted by the plaintiff and such activities causes heavy loss, damage and prejudice to the plaintiff.
The plaintiff asserted that it has exclusive rights to broadcast the event.
The single judge bench of Justice M. Sundar was informed that technologically/technically, there is no possibility of blocking that part of the contents alone in the website.
The bench said that there is no difficulty in accepting prima facie that the plaintiff is the owner of the Copyright in the Sporting Event. In terms of balance of convenience, if this interim order is not granted now, it would result in alleged piracy being completed in all and every aspect of the matter. Thereafter, it will lead to an irreversible situation and therefore, irreparable injury incapable of compensation parameter has also been satisfied.
The bench ordered the interim injunction restraining the respondents or any other person or entity from infringing Copyright in the aforesaid Sporting Event ‘FIFA World Cup 2022’ in any manner so as to prevent copying, transmission, communication, displaying, releasing, showing, hosting, streaming, uploading, downloading, exhibiting, playing and exhibition of the sporting event.
Case Title: Viacom 18 v/s BSNL
Citation: O.A.No.734 of 2022 in CS.(Comm.Div.)No.227 of 2022