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'No cricket scores on cell phones'

Last updated on: February 07, 2006 16:22 IST

The Madras high court on Tuesday restrained mobile phone service providers across the country for four weeks from giving any SMS pertaining to the ongoing One-Day International between India and Pakistan.

Giving the interim-order on a civil suit filed by M/S Marksman Marketing Services Pvt Ltd, Justice M Chockalingam said, "The court was of considerable opinion that it is a fit case for an ad-interim injunction. Ex-parte has got to be granted."

The judge held that the "balance of convenience" was in favour of the applicant.

In the civil suit, the applicant contended it had secured the rights of disseminating information relating to scores, alerts and updates or other events or happenings of the tour through SMS.

The applicant had secured the rights from Pakistan-based Vectracom Pvt Ltd, which had entered into an agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board on December 29, 2005, with respect to exclusive global SMS rights of the Indo-Pakistan series.

The petitioner submitted that during the recently-concluded India-Pakistan Test series, it was noticed that cellular phone operators were disseminating information related to scores and updates through SMS to their subscribers allegedly without obtaining permission from Vectracom.

The applicant apprehended that cellular phone companies across the country would also provide information relating to scores and updates of the ODI series too, without obtaining permission.

The respondents were "exploiting the rights of the petitioner in a commercial way and earning huge profits," the applicant contended and said if the cell operators were allowed to provide such information, "commercially, the petitioner alone was responsible for any loss to Vectracom and the Pakistan Cricket Board".

The petitioner said by transmitting scores "instantaneously and contemporaneously", the defendants were indulging in "almost large scale pirated transmission of live instant information".

The defendants mentioned in the suit were -- Bharati Televentures Ltd, BSNL, Reliance Infocom Ltd, Hutchison Essar Ltd, IDEA Cellular Registered Office, Aircell Cellular Ltd, Aircell Ltd, Spice Telecom, Tata Indicom, Sify Ltd, Yahoo Webservices Ltd, India Times, IMI Mobile, Phony Tunes.com, Rediff.com India Ltd, Pyro Mobile Pvt ltd, ON Mobile Asia-Pacific Pvt Ltd, CricInfo India, BCCI and TRAI.

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