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Delhi HC directs ISPs to block multiple sites streaming copyrighted content from Warner, Netflix, Universal

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The Delhi High Court has asked internet service providers (ISPs) to block online streaming websites namely tamilrockers, eztv, katmovies, limetorrents, skymovies, MP4movies and onlinewatchmovies for allegedly streaming and distributing video content produced by production houses including Warner Bros, Universal, and Netflix, reported the Times of India. Justice Sanjeev Narula ordered ISPs to block user access to the URLs and IP addresses of these websites. It also ordered the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and MeitY to suspend the domain name registrations (DNR) of these streaming websites.

The order came in response to Warner Bros’ plea against the sites which were streaming content from other production houses without permission. The high court has also stopped the websites from “hosting, streaming, reproducing, distributing, making available to the public and/or communicating to the public, or facilitating the same, in any manner, on their websites through the internet any cinematograph work/ content /programme/ show in relation to which plaintiff (Warner Bros) has copyright”.

Aquaman, Stranger Things available for free

According to the series of orders, the websites have been communicating with the public and distributing the complaint’s original content illegally. Some of the films and shows which are entitled to be protected under the Copyright Act but have been illegally distributed by the sites are Aquaman, Wonder Woman, A Star Is Born, Miracles from Heaven, Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, and Stranger Things, among others.

Warner Bros had also sent a legal notice to the websites asking them to stop infringing the copyright of the shows. However, the websites continued to stream the shows and ignored the notice. In its complaint, the company also mentioned that these websites provide illegal content free of cost and without requiring users to register. These portals thrive on advertisements.

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The cases have been again listed before the court on October 24, 2019.

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