Recently the Delhi High Court bench comprising Justice Navin Chawla in the case of Warner Brothers Entertainment v. http.otorrents.com & Ors granted a permanent injunction in favorWarner Brothers, a global entertainment company, has banned “rogue” torrent websites from distributing, broadcasting, transmitting, or streaming its content.
The websites in question were not represented, Justice Navin Chawla held while holding that the suit could be decided summarily as,
“The defendants have no real prospect of successfully defending the claim of copyright infringement and have further not chosen to contest the said claim…On basis of the evidence placed on record, and keeping in mind the factors identified by this Court in UTV Software (supra), I find that there is sufficient evidence to hold that the defendant no. 1 and 51 websites are “rogue websites” and that this is a fit case for passing a summary judgment invoking the provisions of Order XIIIA of CPC, as applicable to the commercial disputes.”The Court held
The Court allowed Warner Bros. to enjoin any mirror/redirect/alphanumeric websites that provide access to its content by filing appropriate applications supported by affidavits and evidence, citing its decision in UTV Software Communication Ltd. & Ors. v. 1337X.to & Ors., which established the law on dynamic injunctions.
“Any website impleaded as a result of such application will be subject to the same decree,”The Court said
Warner Bros. filed a lawsuit alleging that the defendant websites were infringing on its copyright by unlawfully streaming and hosting its content. An independent investigator was hired by the corporation to look into the scope of the rogue websites’ infringing activity, according to the company.
It further informed the Court that the rogue websites had been served with a cease-and-desist notice, instructing them to cease their infringing activity. Despite the legal warning, it was argued that the rogue websites continued to infringe on the plaintiff’s rights.
As a result, Warner Bros. asked the Court for the following relief:
- Issue a permanent injunction prohibiting Otorrents from hosting and streaming the company’s content;
- Give ISPs orders to ban access to the Otorrents website;
- Issue an order requiring the Union Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and other government departments to issue a notification instructing all internet and telecom service providers that are registered with it to ban access to the website.
The Court also highlighted in its order that the MEITY and internet service providers were ordered to prohibit the domain name “Otorrents.com” and its URL https://otorrents.com in 2019. It was learned that ISPs had banned access to the illegal websites as a result of a government department’s report.
Warner Bros. was represented by Sidharth Chopra, Suhasini Raina, Disha Sharma, Anjali Agrawal, and Sanidhya Rao.
MEITY’s Department of Telecommunications was represented by Central Government Standing Counsel Nidhi Raman and Advocate Zubin Singh.