Delhi HC orders 472 websites blocked on Sony plaint against anti-piracy FIFA World Cup broadcasts

The Delhi High Court has ordered the blocking of 472 websites and URLs in India as part of anti-piracy measures against the FIFA World Cup.

The order was issued on 22 June by justice V Kameshwar Rao on a complaint filed by Multi Screen Media Discovery Limited, the distributor for Sony's channels in India.

MSM has the rights to broadcast the FIFA World Cup in India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, according to a licensed agreement with FIFA.

The implementation of the order is expected within a week. According to telecom, internet and digital media website Medianama, broke the report on 4 and 5 July: "file-sharing sites like Luckyshare, Bitshare, Terafile, freakshare and letitbit were blocked on ISP's such as Airtel."

MSM Discovery said it had considerable "investments in acquiring the exclusive Mobile Transmission and Internet Broadband Transmission Rights," and thus "it is imperative for the Plaintiff to ensure that its exclusive and statutory rights are not infringed by websites which have not made any investments in acquisition of such rights and which is illegally broadcast, rebroadcast, retransmit, host, stream, exhibit, make available for viewing and download, provide access to and communicate to the public, the broadcast of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Matches."

Consequent to the passing of the order over 450 sites would face ban in India, of which 219 had been blocked already. The blacklist includes portals like Google Docs, Google Videos and

According to commentators, while Google had managed to free its sites from the ban, smaller portals had not been that lucky it seemed. Torrent sites as also TV streaming sites operating from Europe are said to be bearing the brunt of the High Court order in the most severe way.

The broadcast rights in India of the Brazilian sporting extravaganza rest solely with MSM, and it was its contention that the concerned sites, by showing World Cup action in some way or the other, were infringing on those rights.

Also the company pointed out to the Delhi High Court that the exchequer was losing service tax.

Sony had been understandably aggressive in its bid to stop the infringement of its licensed content, as it was the world most-watched event that was being talked about.