107 websites have been blocked, and many more might be blocked, after the Delhi High Court passed a John Doe order, following a complaint by STAR India, that websites are violating its rights to broadcast content from the India-England Series 2014. The order was passed on July 28th 2014. The Cricket series is being broadcast from 09th July 2014 till 07th September, 2014. The order can be read here.
Hat tip: Spicy IP.
On the face of it, the complaint seems valid, since these do appear to be streaming sites. In comparison, Sony’s FIFA World Cup 2014 list – the initial list – was shoddily put together and contained many legit sites, including Google Docs and Google’s URL shortener. Star has done its homework better.
However, lets not forget Star’s history: in the past, it has issued notices to application developers following injunctions in the Cricket scores case (see this and this), and we’re waiting to see if similar notices are issued this time, given that Star has a John Doe order.
Some of the sites in that list are still working.
STAR says it has Television Rights, Internet Rights, Mobile Rights and On-Demand Rights for the India-England series, for territories like Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, among others. These rights include the live, delayed, highlights, on demand, and repeat broadcasting of the India-England Series Matches, and cover:
– Television Rights by means of cable, terrestrial (analogue and digital), DTH and / or IPTV transmission,
– Internet Rights by means of the Internet to any device capable of accessing the Internet,
– Mobile Rights by means of Mobile Technology to any Mobile Devices including through Mobile Applications
– On-Demand Rights to make the Footage available on On- Demand Basis.
It’s not clear whether STAR has claimed ownership of scorecards and Cricket scores, whether the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has granted it such rights, and whether the John Doe order covers that. STAR India is fighting a case in the Supreme Court of India, in a case that will allow it to prevent (or license) websites such as Cricinfo, Cricbuzz and every single news website and mobile application from offering Cricket scores, commentary and live scorecards. We don’t believe such rights should exist, and it will set a precedence preventing publishers from reporting news live.
In the complaint, STAR has said that:
The plaintiffs thus expect to earn substantial revenues through its internet and mobile app services during the 2014 India- England Series by offering live broadcasts of matches as broadcast on the plaintiffs’ channels, repeat broadcast of the matches, on demand content access to the matches, customized clips, blogs, contests etc. in relation to the 2014 India-England Series. Therefore, any hosting, streaming, making available for viewing and/or communication to the public of the 2014 India-England Series CS(OS) No.2243/2014 Page 6 of 25 Matches, as broadcast on the plaintiffs’ Channels by any means on any platform including the internet and mobile, by any of the named or unnamed defendant websites would be illegal and amount to violation of the broadcast reproduction rights of the plaintiffs protected under Section 37 of the Copyright Act, 1957.
Do scorecards constitute broadcast? This is a copyright claim, and no copyright (as far as we know), exists in scorecards and Cricket scores.
43. www.funhdtv.com streamng.co
81. www.livehqtv.com streamng.com
103. www.super-streams.net m