The Madras High Court has restrained cable and internet providers in certain countries from telecasting the football matches held at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar from November 20. Justice M Sundar granted the ban on Friday while passing interim orders on an application that arose. out of a civil lawsuit from Viacom-18 Media.
The petitioner has made out a prima facie case for granting the injunction, the judge said. It is the owner of the copyright of the sporting event. It will lead to an irreparable situation and therefore irreparable harm beyond compensation has also been met, the judge said.
“Therefore, there shall be an order of preliminary injunction restraining the respondents herein or any other person or entity from infringing the copyright of the sports event FIFA World Cup 2022 in any way to prevent the copying, transmission, communication, display, release, display, hosting , streaming, uploading, downloading, exhibiting, playing and exhibiting the event,” the judge said.
For this purpose, if blocking of websites/web pages becomes necessary, the concerned authorities shall do so. The provisional ban applies for a period of four weeks, i.e. till December 16 on the above terms, the judge added and posted the case for further hearing that day.
Earlier, the plaintiff claimed that it was granted license and various media rights, including exclusive television and radio rights, mobile transmission rights for territories in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and by the Federation Internationale De Football Association (FIFA) as FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
In this situation, several cable and internet service providers are involved in illegal activities and unauthorized retransmission, recording, streaming, audiovisual clips and full sports event broadcast by the plaintiff and such activities would cause great loss, damage and injury to the plaintiff. It has exclusive rights to broadcast the event.
It has invested significant sums in acquiring the license and exclusive rights, according to the plea.