Airtel Says Blocked 219 Websites for Infringing on Sony World Cup Rights

Airtel Says Blocked 219 Websites for Infringing on Sony World Cup Rights
Telecom major Airtel has told the Delhi High Court that it has blocked 219 websites which were allegedly infringing MSM Pvt Ltd's, formerly Sony, right to show matches of Fifa World Cup 2014 as the authorised broadcaster of the event in the Indian subcontinent.

The websites blocked as per the high court's June 23, 2014 order do not include any Google sites as they were removed after a revised list was submitted on July 1.

"Counsel for the defendant submits that defendant number 40 (Airtel) has blocked 219 websites on its servers," Justice G S Sistani noted in his July 4 order, and granted leave to MSM to bring to notice of Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Department of Information Technology (DIT) all the orders of the court 'for strict compliance.'

As per the court's June 23 order, 472 websites, including some Google sites, were restrained from showing Fifa 2014 World Cup on the plea of MSM, which had contended that it shows the matches on six of its channels, including Sony Six, and also streams them online on its portal Sony Liv and mobile application Liv Sports.

Thereafter, on July 1, the court had amended the list of sites to be restrained after Multi Screen Media (MSM) had submitted a revised list. Advocate Saikrishna Rajagopal had filed the petition on behalf of MSM.

On June 23, the high court had also directed its registry to forward a copy of its order to DoT and DIT so that they can direct the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block the infringing websites.

MSM, formerly known as Sony Entertainment Television India Pvt Ltd, has claimed to have all rights related to live, delayed and repeat telecast and streaming of 2014 world cup matches in the Indian subcontinent.

It had told the court that while it has written to ISPs to block the "rogue websites", a court order or directions from DoT would be required for the service providers to act. Fifa 2014 World Cup, which started in Brazil on June 12, is scheduled to conclude on July 13.

(Also see: How to Access Websites Blocked by Recent Delhi High Court Order)


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