Madras HC Blocks Cable TV, Internet Streaming of FIFA World Cup Matches

The Madras High Court has barred cable and internet service providers in certain countries from telecasting football matches to be held at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar from November 20. Justice M Sundar gave the order on Friday while passing interim orders on a petition filed in a civil suit from Viacom-18 Media.

The applicant has made out a prima facie case for the order to be granted, the judge said. It is the copyright owner of the sporting event. It will lead to an irreparable situation and as a result, irreparable harm that cannot be compensated is also satisfied, said the judge.

“Therefore, there will be a temporary injunction restraining the defendants herein and any other person or entity from infringing the copyright in the FIFA World Cup 2022 sports event in any way to prevent the copying, transmission, communication, display, release, display, hosting, broadcasting, uploading, downloading, displaying, playing and exhibition of the event,” said the judge.

For this purpose, if the blocking of websites/web pages becomes necessary, the relevant authorities will do so. The temporary order will be valid for a period of four weeks, that is, until December 16 with the above conditions, the judge added and sent the matter for further hearing on that day.

Earlier, the plaintiff stated that it has been granted a license and various media rights, including TV and radio only, mobile broadcasting rights in the territories of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the Federation Internationale De Football Association. (FIFA) for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

In this case, several cable and internet service providers are involved in illegal activities and unauthorized transmission, recording, broadcasting, audio and visual clips and full sports event broadcast by the plaintiff and such activities can cause great loss, injury and prejudice to the plaintiff. It has exclusive rights to broadcast the event.

It has invested large sums of money in obtaining licensing and exclusive rights, according to the application.

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