HC restrains WhatsApp, Telegram, individuals from illegally sharing e-papers of newspapers
New Delhi, May 21 (PTI): The Delhi High Court on Friday passed an interim order restraining social networking platforms WhatsApp and Telegram and certain individuals from allegedly illegally circulating e-papers of Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd on their respective platforms.
Justice Jayant Nath said prima facie the act of illegally circulating the e-papers of plaintiff on the defendants’ platforms is violative of its copyright and ad-interim injunction is granted in the favour of Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd.
The court also issued notices to WhatsApp and Telegram, which are instant messaging platforms on which photos, documents and videos are also shared, and certain individuals, who are administrators of various groups on the platforms.
The court asked them to respond to the suit and comply with the order.
The court, which listed the matter for further hearing on August 18, also issued notice to the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for its response on the suit.
The counsel for the media house contended that e-papers of Times of India and Nav Bharat Times are being circulated on various WhatsApp groups and Telegram without any authority and this amounts to infringement of its copyright.
He said the issue cropped up since lockdown was imposed in 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 and individuals started downloading the e-papers and circulated it on other groups, which was not permissible.
The counsel said in June 2020, the media house came to know about illegal usage of its copyright on WhatsApp which was providing free usage of its e-papers and notice was issued to the platform but to no avail.