John Doe Orders obtained by makers of ‘Sultan’

This post discusses the latest development relating to the movie ‘Sultan’. The movie was released today, i.e.on 6.07.2016. Ahead of the release of the much awaited movie ‘Sultan’, Yash Raj Films approached the Bombay High Court ,seeking for an interim injunction to fight piracy. Yash Raj Films filed an application after they came across websites hosting several links to download the yet to be released movie ‘Sultan’. These links although dormant at the time of making the application are bound to become functional once the movie is released.

In an order passed by Justice G. S. Patel, the Bombay High court allowed an ex- parte ad-interim relief in a John Doe action brought by Yash Raj Films Private Limited (Plaintiff) against 50 Defendants including major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) etc., to take measures to block access to approximately 102 weblinks which contain or purport to contain infringing or illicit copies of the yet to be released Salman Khan starrer Film “Sultan”.

In addition to the above, the Court granted liberty to the Plaintiff to move against all the URLs stated in the affidavit if found active. The Court also granted liberty to the Plaintiff to approach the Cyber Crime Cell and report about any other weblink or URL pointing to an individual download, without reference from the Court. The Court further through this order restrained intermediaries and cable/ DTH operators from making any broadcast or making available any form of download of the film, including but not limited to CDs, DVD etc., without obtaining proper permission from the Plaintiff.

Copyright owner’s shield “John Doe” orders or “John Doe” injunctions or “Ashok Kumar Orders” are ex parte preliminary injunctions obtained against unidentified defendants to restrain anticipated copyright infringement. In order to successfully obtain this order, the Plaintiff has to satisfy three important requirements (i) there should be a Prima facie case (ii) the infringement should cause irreparable injury to the plaintiff and (iii) the balance of convenience should be in favour of the Plaintiff. These orders have certainly been an advantage for the plaintiffs in the field of copyright protection.

The detailed order can be accessed at the below mentioned link.

Sultan Scan Order dated 4th July 2016

Authored By Bhuvana S Babu