In yet another John Doe order from the Delhi High Court, media company Arha Media and Broadcasting on Wednesday obtained a blanket order restraining all websites and broadcasters, including www.vcinemas.com and the ‘world at large’ from airing its talk-show ‘Unstoppable’, featuring Nandamuri Balakrishna as host, which is streamed vide its OTT platform. The media company was represented by the law firm Anand and Naik in the high court and the same was argued by veteran attorneys Mr. Ameet Naik and Mr. Pravin Anand.
The company has recently approached the High Court by instituting a John Doe suit seeking an injunction to restrain illegal and unauthorized dissemination of the original web talk-show, which is set to air its upcoming episode tomorrow on December 30, featuring South star Prabhas. The company expects substantial viewership for this episode that would result in higher monetary gain. It has already spent Rs. 17 Crore for the production, promotion and marketing activities of the talk-show series.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva has passed the order against the identified rogue websites that engage in infringing activities and against the ‘world at large’ from infringing upon the talk-show and its future episodes and seasons. Considering the investments, the company has made in the talk-show series, the Hight Court has observed that any illegal broadcasting would severely affect its monetary interest and also diminish the value of the talk-show series.
Commenting on the verdict, veteran lawyer Ameet Naik, co-founder of Anand And Naik lawfirm said, “Piracy of films, web-series, entertainment content has always been a huge menace in the media and entertainment industry. Before a film is released in theatres, there are rogue websites and various links which make the movie available to the public at large, which has significant adverse effect on the commercial performance of the film. In an effort to combat the said menace, the Courts have historically been indulgent in granting John Doe orders prior to release of films. The present order passed by the Delhi High Court passed in favour of Arha Media owner of the OTT platform aha, is a similar order wherein the Hon’ble Delhi High Court has granted John Doe order for the show ‘Unstoppable’ originally produced and made available exclusively by an OTT platform, wherein infringing links were making the show and its episodes available, even prior to the release of the show on the OTT platform. The order of Delhi High Court to address piracy and grant reliefs is highly commendable.”
‘Unstoppable’ was first launched on November 4, 2021 and it concluded in February 2022. Following the success of Season 1 and Season 2, it has again started airing in October 2022 and the show is still continuing.
This John Doe order is a first of its kind obtained by an OTT platform in respect of original content. Significantly, it is not only an injunction against the infringers and the World At Large from telecasting, hosting or distributing the web content for both its seasons, but also operates as a precedent for all future works, which emanate from the web talk-show that has the scope to include future episodes, seasons, and metaverse exploitation of the show on future modes as well.