The vacation bench of the Delhi high court on Thursday ordered in favour of ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd (ESIPL) in its suit for permanent injunction filed against cable operators across the country against unauthorized broadcast of India's ongoing cricket tour of Australia.
The court restrained all cable operators, hotels and internet websites from unauthorisedly showing the series in any manner.
ESIPL, in its suit before the Delhi high court, claimed that the defendants -- approximately 63 named cable operators, hotels and internet websites -- may take unauthorized connections and unauthorisedly access signals of ESIPL without obtaining license from the company.
Following the order, anyone showing the broadcast of India's tour to Australia through any unauthorised means or any other channel is liable to be held in contempt of court and be prosecuted.
The high court also permitted ESIPL to take action against "unnamed" entities not party to the suit but are found to be unauthorisedly utilising the feed of ESPN, and STAR Cricket without license.
"This order will go a long way in ensuring that the unauthorised telecast is curbed. We have a team of observers across the country to ensure that piracy does not happen and in case we spot any, we will align with the police to bring the guilty to the book," T S Panesar, vice-president Affiliate Sales, ESPN Software India Pvt Ltd, said.
The court, prima facie being satisfied by the material disclosed to it by ESIPL, restrained the 63 named cable operators, hotels and internet websites and any other entity from transmitting and/or telecasting in any manner whatsoever without license from ESIPL the telecast of the India tour to Australia or from telecasting/transmitting any other channel or in any other manner infringing the copyright/re-broadcast right of ESPN STAR Sports.
The court also restrained unnamed entities who may be found to be indulging in cable piracy.
The police authorities concerned have been directed to rrender all assistance to ESIPL to enforce the order of injunction.
The ongoing four-match Test series is being showcased on STAR Cricket and STAR Cricket HD.
The Test series will be followed by two Twenty20 matches
between India and Australia and a triangular ODI series involving India, Australia and Sri Lanka. The ODI series will have 15 matches, which will be showcased on STAR Cricket, STAR Cricket HD and ESPN.