HC blocks TV cable, internet providers from streaming FIFA World Cup matches

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The Madras High Court has barred cable and internet service providers in some countries from telecasting football matches of the FIFA World Cup to be held in Qatar from November 20.

Justice M Sundar on Friday granted the injunction while passing an interim order on an application arising out of a civil suit by Viacom-18 Media.

The judge said that the petitioner has made out a prima facie case for grant of injunction. It is the owner of the copyright in the sporting event. The judge observed that this would lead to an irreversible situation and therefore, the parameter of compensation causing irreparable harm has also been satisfied.

“Therefore, an interim injunction shall be granted restraining the defendants or any other person or entity from infringing the copyright in the sporting event ‘FIFA World Cup 2022’ in any manner so as to restrain the copying, transmission, communication, display Releasing, showing, hosting, streaming, uploading, downloading, displaying, playing and displaying the event, the judge said.

For this purpose, if it becomes necessary to block websites/web pages, the concerned authorities will do so. The judge said that the interim injunction shall remain in force on the above conditions for a period of four weeks i.e. till December 16 and posted the matter for further hearing on that day.

Prior to this, Plaintiff submitted that it had been granted licenses and various media rights, including exclusive TV and radio, mobile broadcast rights for territories in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, and by the Federation Internationale de Football Association were involved. (FIFA) Qualification FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

In this situation, several cable and internet service providers are involved in illegal activities and unauthorized retransmitting, recording, streaming, audio-visual clips and complete sporting events which are telecast by the Plaintiffs and such activities will cause huge loss, damage and prejudice. Plaintiff. He has the exclusive right to telecast the programme.

As per the petition, it has invested huge amount in obtaining licenses and exclusive rights.

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