Delhi High Court Grants Dynamic+ Injunction To Universal Studios, Netflix Against 42 Piracy Websites

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To address the ever-evolving nature of copyright infringement, court granted a dynamic+ injunction, to protect copyrighted works from immediate exploitation on infringing websites to prevent irreparable harm to such platforms.

The Delhi High Court, recently, granted a dynamic+ injunction to Universal Studios, Netflix, and other streaming platforms against 42 websites uploading and disseminating copyrighted works owned by such platforms without due authorization. 

To keep up with the hydra-headed nature of the infringement actions of such infringing domains/websites, this Court finds it fit to grant a ‘Dynamic+ injunction’ to protect copyrighted works as soon as they are created, to ensure that no irreparable loss is caused to the owners of copyrighted works, as there is an imminent possibility of works being uploaded on infringing websites or their newer versions immediately thereafter”, the bench of Justice Anish Dayal held. 

An application was submitted under Order XXXIX Rules 1 & 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (CPC), seeking a permanent injunction to prevent the defendants and their affiliates from hosting, streaming, reproducing, distributing, or disseminating any cinematograph work/content/program for which the streaming platforms hold copyright on the internet, along with other related reliefs.

The streaming platforms, including Universal Studios and Netflix, claimed themselves as leading global entertainment companies involved in creating, producing, and distributing motion pictures/cinematograph films. The works they created consist of sound recordings accompanied by visuals, meeting the criteria of cinematograph films under Section 2(f) of the Copyright Act, 1957 (Act), and hence are safeguarded under Sections 13(1), 13(2), and 13(5) of the Act.

The streaming platforms, represented by Advocate Siddharth Chopra, argued that various domestic Internet Service Providers upload and disseminate copyrighted work owned by such platforms without proper authorization.

Considering the circumstances, the court found that the plaintiffs presented a compelling case for an interim injunction. Court deemed it necessary to grant such an injunction to prevent irreparable harm to the plaintiffs. Consequently, the following directives were issued until the next hearing:

a. Defendants 1 through 26, along with their associates, were prohibited from distributing, hosting, or making available the plaintiffs' content on their listed websites.

b. Upon notification by the plaintiffs, the domain names of the infringing websites were to be locked and suspended. Moreover, the plaintiffs should receive information about the registrants of these domains, including KYC details and payment information.

c. Defendants 27 through 35 (Internet Service Providers) were instructed to block access to the listed infringing websites within 48 hours of receiving this order.

d. Defendants 36 and 37 (Department of Telecommunications and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology) were directed to ensure that ISPs comply with the above directives through appropriate communication.

e. To address the evolving nature of copyright infringement, the Court decided to grant a 'Dynamic+' injunction. This allows the plaintiffs to add any new variants of the infringing websites as defendants by filing an application for impleadment. This measure aims to prevent further infringement of copyrighted works.

f. The plaintiffs were permitted to file applications to extend the injunction to future works. Upon filing such applications with sufficient evidence, the injunction would apply to the listed websites and the relevant works. Any disputes regarding copyright ownership could be brought before the Court for clarification.

Accordingly, court listed the matter for September 12, 2024. 

Case Title: Universal City Studios Productions LLLP v Movies123.LA & Ors