'O Kadhal Kanmani' Piracy - High Court restrains telecom companies, Google, YouTube..

O Kaadhal Kanmani
The Madras High Court today restrained 14 intermediaries such as Google India, You Tube and BSNL from in any manner infringing the copyright of Mani Ratnam-produced 'O Kadhal Kanmani' under the banner of Madras Talkies, which he and his wife Suhasini are partners.

The Madras high court on Tuesday restrained 12 telecommunication companies and two online sites from infringing on the copyright of Mani Ratnam's recent movie 'O Kadhal Kanmani'. The director had moved the court seeking directions to stop Google India, YouTube, BSNL, MTNL, Airtel, Aircel, Vodafone, Reliance Communications and Tata Teleservices from broadcasting the film.

In his petition, Mani Ratnam said the government had failed to check the distribution of pirated materials on the internet. The original version of the film was pirated and disseminated through CDs, Blue Ray discs and other information and technology systems. Further, piracy on the internet could only be prevented by blocking the URLs of sites suspected of disseminating pirated versions of films, he said.

He said according to the Information Technology Act, the 12 telecommunication companies and the two websites were intermediaries. An intermediary is defined in the act as any entity which received, stored and transmitted electronic records. Inadvertently, through these 14 intermediaries, massive piracy was being committed, he said. The IT Act had clearly said that intermediaries had to exercise due diligence to prevent piracy, he said.

The Madras Talkies has produced all Mani Ratnam's feature films from 'Iruvar', other non-Mani films like 'Nerrukku Ner', 'Dum Dum Dum', 'Five star' and some other tele serials for Sun TV. 'O Kaadhal Kanmani was released on April 17.

Mani Ratnam contended that persons such as Ashok Kumar, who have a propensity to pirate original versions of the film and distribute them worldwide, would infringe the movie by copying it.

Such infringements can be checked only by blocking URL which is an address that points the resource from which the internet is transmitting information. By doing so, piracy can be prevented, he said.

When the matter came for hearing, Justice K Ravichandra Babu granted an interim stay. The matter has been posted to next week for hearing.


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