In an attempt aimed at preventing Tamil Rockers, a torrent site involved in online piracy of Tamil movies, from leaking films on the day of their launch, the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed 37 internet service providers (ISP) across the country to take steps to prevent hosting of Rajinikanth-starrer 2.0 through 12,564 possible uniform resource locators (URLs).
Justice M. Sundar granted the interim order on a civil suit preferred by Neelakantnarayanpur of Lyca Productions.
He directed Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited, Bharti Airtel, Hathway Cable and other ISPs to block hosting of the movie through any of the URLs listed in the suit.
Earlier, the plaintiff’s counsel Vijayan Subramanian brought to the notice of the judge that it was a common practice in the industry to file a civil suit, popularly known as John Doe lawsuit, in the High Court against unnamed websites and obtain an interim injunction preventing the uploading of movies online.
The suit was usually withdrawn after a few months.
Such suits continue to be filed prior to the release of almost every movie. However, in practice, interim injunctions have proven to be ineffective, especially in the case of Tamil movies, because Tamil Rockers has managed to leak movies online, he added. Explaining the modus operandi followed by Tamil Rockers to perpetrate online piracy, he said that it uses different URLs at different times such as www.tamilrockers.ab, www.tamilrockers.ac and www.tamilrockers.ba and even names other than Tamil Rockers.
Therefore, Lyca Productions had worked out various permutations and combinations.
The exhaustive work undertaken by the production firm had led to a list of 12,564 URLs through which 2.0 could be leaked, either before or after its worldwide release on Thursday.
Hence, in a first-of-its-kind attempt, the production house wanted to see whether online piracy could be prevented by keeping a check on URLs.
When the judge wanted to know whether the present effort would succeed since the order was being obtained at the eleventh hour, Mr. Subramanian said: “…the movie is getting released tomorrow and by 11.30 am we’ll get to know whether the plaintiff wins or Tamil Rockers succeeds in uploading the movie despite our efforts.”
Explaining the anxiety shown by the producer, the advocate said that a large sum of money was involved in the production of the movie and therefore piracy could end up causing irretrievable damage to the plaintiff.