Star India Pvt. Ltd. (Disney) filed a suit for copyright infringement seeking permanent injunction and damages, for infringement of copyrights in its upcoming film ‘Brahmastra Part One: Shiva’ against and other rogue websites (infringers), which were primarily and substantially engaged in illegal streaming, hosting, etc.
Disney pointed out in its suit that, it is an industry practice to first release the film for theatrical exhibition and then make it available for viewing on different platforms. However, the infringers were vehicles of infringement, whose whole business model is designed to provide the public, an access to copyright contents, unauthorizedly thereby violating the copyright protected work of Disney.
Disney further contended that, in the past, infringing copies of several movies produced/distributed by them were illegally and unauthorizedly communicated to the public and made available for viewing and downloading, on various websites, within hours of the theatrical release, and in the present matter when the film is slated to be released on September 9, 2022 Disney apprehended that the infringers will continue to infringe copies of the film through various portals which would directly hamper Disney’s business and erode the value of the film besides infringing its copyright.
The Hon’ble Delhi High Court accepted the submissions by Disney, by saying that the issue of piracy was rampant in the present times, which was required to be curbed and needs to be dealt with a heavy hand and that an injunction against screening of copyrighted content by the rogue websites ought to be granted as a deterrent.
Hence, considering the investments made by Disney in the production and promotion of the film as also the exclusive right vested in it under the provisions of the Copyright Act, the Court granted an ex parte ad-interim relief, restraining the rogue websites from hosting, streaming, retransmitting, exhibiting, making available for viewing and downloading, providing access to the public, and/or sharing on their websites through the internet or any other platform, the film ‘Brahmastra Part One: Shiva’ and contents related thereto.
It was also directed to the Department of Telecommunications and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, to issue the necessary notifications calling upon various Internet Service Providers to block access to the websites of the infringers. It is important to understand that the theatrical release of a film is one of the most important stage in its overall business, as the commercial value of a film depends on the popularity and success it achieves in this period.


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