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Viacom18 secures injunction against 1,250 sites to prevent piracy of ‘Force 2’

MUMBAI: Viacom18 has secured a John Doe interim order from Madras High Court restricting more than 1,250 identified and all other unidentified websites from making unauthorised copies of Viacom18’s latest release ‘Force2’.

In the order, the HC has directed 40 major internet service providers (ISPs) and other unidentified ISPs to block all pirate websites that are illegally making the film available over the internet.

Viacom18, group general counsel and company secretary, Sujeet Jain 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 secured John Doe orders against infringement of its films ‘Drishyam’ and ‘Manjhi: The Mountain Man’. Besides, certain state HCs are directing injunction against URLs, which, however, many filmmakers believe is ineffective as URLs are easily mirrored and new URLs pop up in no time. Therefore, the John Doe order for ‘Force 2’ blocking access to pirate websites should act as a relief and help filmmakers across the country in their war against piracy.