On January 21 2014, Sony MSM (the plaintiff) contested ESPNcricinfo’s (the defendant) right to provide “live and contemporaneous text commentary” during India’s tour of New Zealand. The case file for the interim order that the court issued can be accessed from this link to the Delhi High Court’s website. This is the gist:
Learned counsel for the plaintiff contends that on 19.1.2014, during the live broadcast of the first match in India-New Zealand Cricket series, the plaintiff learnt that defendants, without any authorization from the plaintiff, on its website i.e. http://www.espncricinfo.com are providing live and contemporaneous text commentary and live contemporaneous audio commentary of the said first match in Hindi and English languages. In the first match, which was played on 19.1.2014, the defendant had given ball-to-ball commentary on their website. Print outs of the impugned website, in this context, have been placed by the plaintiff at pages 23 to 60 of the documents. Counsel further contends that since the plaintiff has exclusive media rights, the defendants cannot be permitted to invade into the rights of the plaintiff and provide ball-to-ball commentary on their websites. It is further contended that the defendant seeks to reap profits without making any investment and without obtaining any license thereby making illegal gains at the cost of the plaintiff. Counsel, in these circumstances, prays for ex parte ad interim injunction against the defendant.