The Madras High Court has restrained 169 Internet Service Providers (ISPs), including 225 websites, that allow Kabali to be downloaded. The order was issued following a petition filed by producer Kalaipali S Thanu on Thursday, in which he requested the court to direct the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to block websites hosting illegal copies of the film. Slated to release on 22 July, Kabali is directed by Pa Ranjith, and stars Rajinikanth, Radhika Apte, and Dhansika.
In addition to restraining the 169 registered ISPs, the adjudicating judge, Justice Kirubakaran, also restrained multi-system operators from illegally telecasting the film by cable operators. Recently, some cable operators in Puducherry had telecast a leaked copy of Udta Punjab days before the film was scheduled to release in theatres.
Justice Kirubakaran said in the order, “The petitioner is said to have suffered heavy loss due to online and video piracy of his movies ‘Theri’ and ‘Kanidhan’, and his apprehension regarding illegal downloading, streaming, etc of his upcoming movie by rogue websites is well-founded. Hence, this court is convinced to grant an order of interim injunction restraining the licensed ISPs listed as respondents 7 to 175, from giving access to the rogue websites listed in the schedule to the petition, and other similar websites indulging in online piracy and infringement of copyright pertaining to the film ‘Kabali,’ and more particularly prohibit them in territorial jurisdiction of India from exhibiting, releasing, projecting, screening or in any manner providing platforms for downloading the film Kabali which is already censored and slated for release on July 22.”
In addition to the interim injunction restraining the ISPs, Justice Kirubakaran has also permitted Kalaipuli S Thanu to send a private notice to all 175 entities who are shown as respondents in the case. The case has been adjourned to 8 August for further proceedings.
Responding to the judgement, Thanu said that the judgement would serve as an example for all films to follow. He also said that the film industry was thankful to the High Court for passing the judgement, and it would definitely help curb online piracy of films. He reiterated that it should be implemented for all films.
Produced by Thanu’s V Creations, Kabali has music composed by Santhosh Narayanan. Actors Kalaiarasan, Attakathi Dinesh, Riythvika, Winston Chao, and Rosyam Nor form the supporting cast.