In what seems to have become the trend of the Indian film industry, two major film producers have secured John Doe orders (a.k.a Manoj Kumar orders) against several popular ISPs and torrent websites. Previously such orders have been granted to protect the release of films such as Singham and 3. The broadcasters of the FIFA world too had obtained this injunction against more than 400 websites.
In its order dated 14th May 2015, the Delhi High Court has acknowledged and upheld the Fox Star’s arguments that the absence of such an order is highly likely to cause grave and irreparable financial loss to the producers of Bombay Velvet.
Accordingly the Court ordered that “till next date of hearing defendants, their partners, proprietors, directors, agents and other known and unknown parties, are restrained from hosting, streaming, making available for viewing, downloading, providing access to… or sharing without authorization on their website, in any manner, the film Bombay Velvet…”
In support of their arguments, the Plaintiff’s advocate stated that the leak or “mischief” generally takes place during the process of transporting or distributing the film to the theatres.
Consequently the Court also ordered the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEIT) a notification to ensure compliance from ISPs.
The Delhi High Court had passed a similar order on 1st May 2015 in favour of Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd. (MSM) to protect the release of Piku which was due for release on 8th May 2015.
The Defendants in this case comprised of torrent websites, ISPs and other unknown parties. Some of them are vimeo.com, thepiratebay.org, torrentz.eu, thiruttuvcd.biz, merotv.net, novamov.com, videotanker.co, cloudy.ec, vidto.me, zuzvideo.com, video.tt, kickasstoreents.com and torrentfunk.com.
Holding that a prima facie case was indeed made out against the Defendants, the Court ordered that:
“Accordingly, till next of hearing the defendants, their partners, proprietors, directors, shareholders, nominees, servants, representatives, …, are restrained from communicating or making available or distributing or duplicating, or displaying, or releasing, or showing, or uploading, or downloading or exhibiting, or playing, and/or defraying the movie “Piku-Motion Se Hi Emotion” in any manner without a proper license from the plaintiff … through different mediums like CD, DVD, Blu-ray, VCD, cable TV, DTH, Internet, MMS, Tapes, Conditional Access System or in any other like manner.
However, the likelihood of this order to actually make an impact on the Defendants or the like still remains unsurprisingly low.