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STAR India Files Case In Delhi HC Against ESPN Cricinfo, Cricbuzz

STAR India appears to have filed a fresh case against Cricket websites ESPN Cricinfo and Cricbuzz: The Delhi High Court website lists cases CS (OS) 611/2014 as filed against ESPN Digital Media (India), which is ESPN Cricinfo, and CS (OS) 612/2014 as filed against Akuate Internet Services, which is Cricbuzz. The case comes up for hearing next on the 13th of March 2013. We haven’t yet heard back from queries sent to STAR India and Cricinfo regarding this. We’ll update in case we hear back from them, or when an order is put up on the Delhi High Court website.

Note that another broadcaster – Multi Screen Media – has also filed cases against both ESPNCricinfo and Cricbuzz, as well as Radio One in the Delhi High Court. MSN had got an injunction, preventing the websites from providing live updates and commentary online. STAR also has another key case filed against Idea Cellular, Onmobile Global and Cricbuzz, which comes up for hearing in the Supreme Court of India next week. That case has been through multiple rulings in the Delhi High Court, but was largely related to mobile updates. The Multi-Screen Media case (and possibly this one from STAR against ESPNCricinfo and Cricbuzz) is different because it relates to websites publishing content, and effectively, impacts the right to report on private events, live.

Note that both ESPNCricinfo and Cricbuzz have reported scores from the Asia Cup delayed by 15 minutes, and that Star had sent out notices to mobile application developers (read here), warning them against publishing Cricket related updates such as scorecards and ball by ball commentary. Following the Multi-Screen Media case against ESPNCricinfo and Cricbuzz, the two websites had delayed their updates from the matches from the India-New Zealand series by around 15 minutes, apart from one instance we noticed where ESPNCricinfo had reported scores live. The Delhi High Court had said that the websites would have to pay Rs 10 lakh per match for a license to provide updates.

We wonder if we’re going to see a court case per series from here on, preventing live reporting. To understand how STAR is claiming rights over Cricket scores, read this.

At present, there are three other cases related to Hot News, in progress:

– Vrock Mobile vs Reliance Communications (more here)
– STAR vs Idea Cellular, Onmobile Global and Cricbuzz (more here)
– MSM vs ESPN Cricinfo and Cricbuzz (more here)

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Our complete coverage of the Hot News cases (21 stories since 2009) here.

Disclosure: Onmobile Global is an advertiser with MediaNama

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