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You’re reading this here first: Super Cassettes Industries Limited, better known as T-Series, has obtained an interim restraint order against YouTube.com LLC and its parent company Google (NSDQ: GOOG) from the High Court of Delhi; the order restrains YouTube and Google from disseminating or displaying on their websites, or infringing in any manner, the copyright of any audio visual work in which the T-Series owns exclusive copyright. T-Series has filed a suit against Google and YouTube for a permanent injunction.
I was at the Delhi High Court earlier today, and witnessed the proceedings. Amit Sibal, the lawyer representing T-Series, argued that YouTube, which makes audio-visual content including film songs available for free, makes money by displaying advertisements and “recording clicks” for a share of what advertiser spends. At the same time, none of this money goes to the copyright owner. There was no one representing Google or YouTube in court, hence no counter argument, and the proceedings were wrapped up in minutes.
This gives rise to an interesting situation: In accordance with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), YouTube takes down copyrighted content when notified by copyright owners, but it does not moderate content before it goes up. With the passing of this restraining order, the onus appears to now be on Google and YouTube to prevent users from uploading T-Series content. The other thing is – if this becomes a permanent injunction, then it sets a precedent in India which will impact other videosharing sites, including Rediff’s (NSDQ: REDF) iShare, Dekhona, thebig.tv, among several others.