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    Delhi HC Grants ‘Dynamic+ Injunction’ Protecting Copyrighted Works of Netflix, Universal Studios Against Infringement By Rogue Websites

    We missed this: The Delhi High Court on May 16 granted ‘Dynamic+ injunction’ to protect copyrighted works of Universal Studios, Netflix and four other major global entertainment companies against 26 websites found to be infringing upon their content. A Dynamic+ Injunction order is aimed at tackling the “hydra-headed” nature of infringing domains/websites and is meant to protect not only the copyrighted works in question but also future works produced by the copyright owners.

    Universal City Studios Productions LLP, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Amazon Content Services LLC, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Disney Enterprises, Inc., Netflix US, LLC, and Paramount Pictures Corporation—members of the Motion Pictures Association—had filed an application against at least 26 domains/websites allegedly carrying and disseminating copyrighted works of the companies without any license or authorisation.

    The companies claimed that their cinematograph works are entitled to protection under Section 13(1) read with Sections 13(2) and (5) of the Copyright Act, 1957, and that they also have exclusive rights under Section 14(d) read with Section 17 of the Act.

    What did the Court say?

    1. In addition to the ‘Dynamic+ injunction’ order, the Court has allowed the companies to implead an “mirror/redirect/alphanumeric variations of the websites” identified in the complaint if they are found to be infringing upon their content.

    2. The Court restrained the owners and all those associated with the 26 websites, including movies123.la, animeflix.live, vegamovies.yt, animedekho.com etc, from in any manner “communicating to the public, hosting, storing, reproducing, streaming, broadcasting, re-broadcasting, causing to be seen or heard by public on payment of charge and/or making available for viewing plaintiffs’ content through their websites”.

    3. The Court also directed the internet service providers (ISPs) to block access to the infringing websites, within 48 hours of receipt of this order. Additionally, the Department of Telecommunications and the IT Ministry have been directed to take steps to ensure that ISPs comply with the Court’s directions, through appropriate communications and notices sent to the said ISPs, including other ISPs which are registered with them.

    Previous action against websites that operate as ‘hydra-headed monster’

    In March, the Delhi HC had directed ‘doodstream.com’, ‘doodstream.co’ and ‘dood.stream’ and others to take down, within 24 hours, a list of all infringing contents containing copyrighted works of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Amazon Content Services LLC, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Disney Enterprises, Inc., Netflix US, LLC, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Universal City Studios Productions LLP, and Apple Video Programming LLC. The companies had raised a complaint against “rogue cyberlocker websites” operating in India.

    In addition to taking down the content within 24 hours, the Court has directed the websites to disable all features that allow the regeneration of links and reuploading of infringing content post-takedown.

    The defendant platforms will have to file an affidavit disclosing the revenues generated from the time of launch of said websites till date. They are also required to file an affidavit detailing the number of requests for delisting that they have received from entertainment companies, details of the content requested to be delisted, and explain whether the said content was available on their sites after the takedown. Read more about the order here.

    In November 2023, the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting (MIB) assigned nodal officers who will be responsible for addressing complaints filed by copyright holders regarding pirated/infringing copies of their films on the internet. On receiving such complaints by the copyright holder or any person authorised by them, the nodal officers are required to issue notification to the intermediaries or online platforms to disable access to and remove such links from the internet.

    Additionally, the Cinematograph (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the Parliament in July 2023, allows the government to block websites or cause the removal of links from the internet. There’s no any clarity about the procedures employed to issue such blocking orders and to review the decisions of the nodal officers. While it is an important step, the move also raises apprehensions about arbitrary censorship of websites over privacy issues with little transparency regarding due process, alongside diminishing autonomy of the CBFC, regarding certification of films.

    Also Read:


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    The post Delhi HC Grants ‘Dynamic+ Injunction’ Protecting Copyrighted Works of Netflix, Universal Studios Against Infringement By Rogue Websites appeared first on MEDIANAMA.

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