Oct 19, 2023

Delhi HC Passes ‘Dynamic + Injunction’ Order to Protect Future Works Intellectual Property

In a first of its kind order[1], the Delhi HC in Universal City Studios LLC. and Ors. v. Dotmovies.baby and Ors.,[2] recognised and protected plaintiffs’ copyright in future works and granted an ex parte ad interim injunction restraining 16 defendants, which are rogue websites, from any manner of streaming, reproducing, distributing, making available to the public and/or communicating to the public any copyrighted content of the plaintiffs, including future works of the plaintiffs, in which ownership of copyright is undisputed (‘Order’). The injunction granted by way of the Order extends not only to the specific rogue websites listed in the suit, but also to any mirror or redirect websites or alphanumeric variations thereof as well as those websites which are associated with the defendants either based on the name, branding, identity or even content source.

The Court was of the view that the rogue websites have the potential to curb creation of copyrighted content and hurt the thriving content creation industry in India. The Court took into consideration the technological advancements and the proliferation of rogue websites, the illegalities that the rogue websites indulge in and the likelihood and the severity of monetary loss such rogue websites cause to the plaintiffs and opined that as innovation in technology continues, remedies to be granted ought to be calibrated by Courts. The Court coined the term ‘Dynamic+ injunction’ and justified its grant inter alia on the grounds that there is an urgent need to protect copyrighted works as soon as they are created as there is an imminent possibility of works being uploaded on rogue websites resulting in irreparable loss to authors and owners.

The Court, by way of this Order, sets out a mechanism by way of which plaintiffs could file applications accompanied by an affidavit and supporting evidence in order to extend the injunction granted to their future copyrighted works as well as rogue websites which infringe such works.

[1] Order dated August 9, 2023.

[2] Universal City Studios LLC. and Ors. Vs. Dotmovies.baby and Ors., [CS(COMM) 514/2023].




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