How should the Court deal with the hydra headed ‘Rogue Websites’ which on being blocked, eventually multiply and resurface as redirect or mirror or alphanumeric websites?

Facts: UTV Software Communications Ltd (Plaintiff)., is one such company which is engaged in creating content, producing and distributing cinematographic content around the world. The plaintiff has brought a suit against thirty identified websites, multiple John Doe defendants, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Dept of Telecom and various ISPs. The contention of the plaintiff was based on the fact that the defendant websites host and provide access to their copyrighted content which infringes their rights derived from the Copyright Act, 1957. The plaintiffs provided access to a sample of such infringing content as evidence that the websites were primarily engaging in online piracy. Majority of the websites did not respond to the summons presumably since they were hosted outside of India and due to that an amicus curia was appointed in their place as the issue was pertaining to be a question of law of general public importance.
Judgement: The most notable contribution this case made was that it introduced a new procedure to extend website blocking injunctions beyond those specified in the court order but also to those websites which are ‘mirror/alphanumeric/redirect’ websites created after the injunction order was already passed by the court. This extension was termed as ‘dynamic injunction’. Singapore High Court’s decision in Disney v M1 was referred by the High Court of Delhi while deciding on the issue where their court introduced the concept of ‘dynamic injunction’ whereby a plaintiff could file an additional affidavit stating to the court why a new website fell within the purview of an existing blocking order, and forwarding the same to an ISP, which could dispute the merits of the blocking order. This process would provide to be helpful in curtailing piracy by such ‘Rogue Websites’ and reduce the burden on the copyright owners to go through the tough route of litigation over and again.

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