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Delhi HC Issued Blocking Orders of App ‘Pikashow’ Over Alleged Copyright Violation Claims by Star India

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Delhi High Court Law Insider

Akansha Upadhyay

Published on: 18 November 2022 at 14:19 IST

The Delhi High Court recently directed the authorities to block the mobile streaming application ‘Pikashow’ over an alleged copyright violation claimed by Star India.

It has filed a suit against copyright infringement of its content by the streaming app providing the free content of all OTT platforms and allegedly involved in the piracy of content.

Justice Pratibha M Singh passed the order after noticing that the defendant (Pikashow) was “unabashedly and brazenly making available a large amount of copyrighted content” including that of plaintiffs (Star India).

The Court observed that:

“On a perusal of the pages of the App, it does not appear that any non-infringing content is available on a substantial portion of the App. Even the studies conducted by Lumen1 as cited by the Plaintiffs…”

“…the large volume of cease-and-desist letters and complaints made against the App, prima facie establish that the App is a rogue App and deserves to be blocked as a whole, as past experience has shown that blocking of URLs themselves may not be sufficient to stop the streaming of infringing content, the court said in the order of November 4, 2022,”

The bench after hearing the submission by the counsel for the plaintiff passed an order directing the Department of Technology (DOT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to issue blocking orders against the app, including against all the source domains listed above in the order and any further domain names/source domains which may be brought to their notice by the Plaintiffs, after filing an affidavit before this Court as directed above, so as to ensure that the said App remains blocked by all ISPs across the country.

The court after hearing both parties, ruled that,The large volume of infringing content coupled with the manner in which the App is sought to be made accessible and downloadable by users by using various deceptive methods leaves no manner of doubt in the mind of the Court that the intention of the owners/operators of this App is to clearly subvert any technological measures that may be there on established platforms, to ensure that infringing content can continue to be streamed,

The court also directed the advertisers on the app to disclose all details including contact, bank accounts, payment made or sale agreements entered into with the defendant app.

The bench has also directed the Domain Name Registry (DNR) to block the domain of the app and disclose all related details. The bench also directed the Delhi police to file a status report in the investigation going on against the app.

Star India argued that the manner in which the App claims that the content of the App is divided into Hollywood, Bollywood, TV series and live TV itself shows that the USP of the said App is that it is providing copyrighted content free of cost.

It was argued that Over 500 complaints have been made against the App by third parties, seeking removal of the PIKASHOW domains from online search results, which is evident from a search of the publicly available database known as ‘Lumen Project’. It shows that there are more than 500 cease and desist letters issued in respect of this App and domain. (ANI)