Ahead of the World Cup 2014’s kick-off, we reported how you could watch the matches live on your PC, by buying a subscription from Sony.
Now it appears that, several websites were offering live streams of Sony Liv’s broadcast for free. Sony had observed this, and filed a Copyright Violation through Multi Screen Media, to block access to the offending websites.
But what is surprising, is the list of websites which have been blocked is enormous, and many of them are not even related to the case. The list of websites which have been blocked in India, following the complaint, include notable ones such as Mega.co.nz, Multiupload.nl, thepiratebay.org, and even some of Google’s services.
MSM Satellite (Singapore) Pte. Ltd, and FIFA signed an agreement dated 14th January, 2014, which gives the Sony owned company the rights (live, delayed, highlights, on demand, and repeat broadcasting) for the following broadcasts, in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka:
- Mobile Transmission
- Broadband Internet Transmission
MSM filed a case on behalf of Sony for a John Doe order, at the Delhi High Court, on June 23rd, stating that it is impossible to track the owners of the offending websites, due to private registrations.
The complaint states that Various websites are,
“indulging in hosting, streaming, providing access to, etc. of infringing the exclusive rights and broadcast and re-production rights of the plaintiff.”…”the acts of infringement is not only causing the plaintiff loss of substantial revenues but will also take away the legitimate revenue to the Government through service tax etc which are payable on the subscription fee payable by the named and unnamed defendants if they conduct their business illegitimately.”
The Court issued an ad-interim ex-parte order for a limited period, asking the defendants to comply, which prevents them from hosting, streaming, making available on the internet the content. So Internet Service Providers had to comply with it, and block access to the mentioned websites.
This virtually grants MSM the ability to block any website it wants. You can view the full list of 472 websites, at Medianama. How the URL shortening services, cloud storage services are believed to be violating MSM’s copyright, remains a mystery.