‘Dynamic+ Injunction’ Issued Against Rogue Websites for Streaming Hollywood Studios’ Content

In an order dated August 9, 2023, the Delhi High Court issued a “dynamic+ injunction” restraining the 16 rogue websites impleaded as defendants along with their redirect/ alphanumeric/ mirror websites from streaming, reproducing, distributing, or communicating to the public any copyrighted content, including future works of the plaintiffs[1].

The plaintiffs, Universal City Studios LLC, Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Columbia Pictures Industries Inc., Netflix Studios LLC, Paramount Pictures Corporation and Disney Enterprises Inc., filed a suit before the Delhi High Court seeking an injunction restraining rogue websites from infringing their copyright. It was pointed out that several alphanumeric/ mirror websites of those previously injuncted by courts have resurfaced and currently transmit pirated content.

The Court acknowledged the negative impact of such rogue websites on the content creation industry in India and abroad. Considering the “dynamic nature” of copyright infringement by hydra-headed websites and the possibility of films and series getting uploaded on these websites immediately upon release, the Court expressed that an injunction should apply not only to existing content but also to future content as may be produced by the plaintiffs on a day-to-day basis. With this, the Court issued a “dynamic+ injunction” to accord protection to copyrighted content or works soon after their creation and to ensure that no irreparable loss is caused to the works’ authors and owners.

Apart from issuing the said interim injunction, the Court gave directions to the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block the websites and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to issue blocking orders against the rogue websites within a week from the release of the order.

The matter will be heard next on January 15, 2024.

[1] Universal City Studios LLC. and Ors. V. DotMovies.Baby and Ors. [CS(COMM) 514/2023 and IA 14120/2023, 14122/2023]