Now that the 'Hot News' case is in the Supreme Court of India, STAR India has begun sending fresh legal notices to application developers, warning them against publishing minute-by-minute Cricket scores and ball by ball commentaries "for a fee, charge or any other premium (by whatever name called)," saying that this would amount to "a breach of the Exclusive Rights." It has also warned developers against commercialization of these rights through user subscriptions and third party advertising, saying that this will amount to the breach of STAR's Exclusive Rights. STAR's emailed response to a few questions that we sent to them. We've included our take as well, but we're not lawyers and you should check with your lawyer before taking a decision: MediaNama: The order from the single judge of the Delhi High Court pertained to Mobile Rights and Mobile Activation rights. Please explain how this judgment, as suggested by you in your email, is this applicable to the "digital rights", which includes Internet rights as well? STAR India: The principle underlying the order of the Single Judge, Delhi High Court was that contemporaneous commercial exploitation of match information cannot be done without procuring an appropriate license from the event owner / rights holder who has expended considerable capital, labour and invested in organising the event. Whether this commercial use is in the form of subscription revenue from telecom subscribers or through advertising sourced on internet websites, the principle would apply with equal force. Our Take: Whatever the principle of…
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