Monday, May 20, 2024

Delhi High Court bans mobile application PikaShow for illegal streaming of copyright content

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday banned mobile application ‘PikaShow,’ after noting the extensive use of the app in illegal broadcasting and streaming of copyright content.  

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Pratibha M Singh directed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEIT) to issue blocking orders against the application and all domain names making it available, so as to ensure that it was blocked by all internet service providers (ISPs) across the country.

Plaintiffs Star India Private Limited and Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited had filed a suit in the High Court, seeking permanent injunction against the mobile application PikaShow, alleging that it was hosting infringing content, over which they have exclusive rights and copyright. 

While passing an interim injunction against PikaShow and its owners, the High Court observed that directions were passed earlier also in a similar case against streaming of infringing content by rogue apps and URLS with similar names.

Justice Singh noted that despite blocking orders, similar content was being made available through this App and new URLs were being created and made accessible using circumvention measures, making it difficult to ensure that the infringing content was restrained. 

The plaintiffs’ contention that if one URL was blocked, further URLS were created to make the application available, was correct, added the High Court.

As per the plaintiffs, their content was illegally being made available through PikaShow, which provided free content of all well-known OTT platforms.

The owners of OTT Platform Disney+Hotstar further said that PikaShow was a standalone application, which had engaged itself ‘brazenly’ in committing ‘piracy of exclusive content’ belonging to various copyright owners.

Observing that the instructions contained in the App left no matter of doubt that the App was conscious of the fact that it was primarily streaming infringing content, the High Court noted that the defendants were unabashedly and brazenly making available a large amount of copyrighted content, including that of the Plaintiffs.
However, the Bench clarified that if PikaShow has any non-infringing content, its owners or operators would be permitted to move an application seeking modification of the order.

It then fixed January 25 as the next date of hearing.

(Case title: Star India Pvt Ltd and Anr vs PikaShow application and Ors)


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