Mumbai: Viacom18 has secured a John Doe interim order from the Hon’ble Madras High Court restricting more than 1250 identified and all other unidentified websites from making the infringing copies of Viacom18’s latest release i.e ‘Force2’ available for public viewing over internet. In the said order, the Court has further directed 40 major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and also other unidentified ISPs to block all such pirate websites which are illegally making the said film available over internet.
Sujeet Jain, Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Viacom18, said, “I welcome this order from the Hon’ble Madras High Court. It is estimated that India loses $2.5 Billion to online movie piracy every year. With increased penetration of technology and internet in India, piracy through online distribution is expected to continue to be a major source of revenue leakage for the movie industry. This order is a significant development for the film industry in its fight against online piracy. As immediate next steps, we’ve also launched an investigation into identifying the source of piracy at the threshold level and we will be soon taking strict action on that front. “
Viacom18 had earlier successfully secured John Doe orders against infringement of its films Drishyam and ‘Manjhi – The Mountain Man’ as well. In the current scenario the High Court in certain states are directing injunction against URLs only which according to many filmmakers is ineffective as URLs are easily mirrored and new URLs pop up in no time. The John Doe Order for Force 2 blocking access to the entire pirate websites should therefore be a relief and aid to filmmakers across country in their war against piracy.