Arha Media and Broadcasting, which owns the Telugu OTT platform aha, on Thursday obtained a blanket order restraining all websites and broadcasters, and the “world at large”, from airing Tollywood star Nandamuri Balakrishna’s talk show ‘Unstoppable’.
The company had recently approached the Delhi High Court by instituting a ‘John Doe’ suit seeking an injunction to restrain the illegal and unauthorised dissemination of the talk show episode featuring the ‘Baahubali’ superstar, Prabhas.
The episode is set to be streamed on Friday, December 30, and according to its promos, it has Prabhas talking about his ‘Adi Purush’ Sita, namely, Kriti Sanon. Coming as it does close on the heels of the widespread rumour that the two are romantically linked, the episode has created a lot of interest among viewers.
The company, according to its submission to the High Court, expects substantial viewership for the episode that would result in considerable monetary gain. It has already spent Rs 17 crore for the production, promotion and marketing of the talk show series.
Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva passed the order against the identified rogue websites and the “world at large” from infringing upon the talk show and its future episodes and seasons. Considering the investments the company has made in the talk-show series, the judge observed in his verdict, any illegal broadcasting would severely affect its monetary interest and also diminish the talk show’s value.
Commenting on the verdict, lawyer Ameet Naik, joint managing partner of Anand and Naik, said: “Piracy of films, web series and entertainment content has always been a huge menace in the media and entertainment industry.” He pointed out that in the case of ‘Unstoppable’, “infringing links were making the show and its episodes available, even prior to the release of the show on the OTT platform”. He added that the High Court’s order was “highly commendable”.
‘Unstoppable’ was first launched on November 4, 2021, and it concluded in February 2022. Seeing Season 1’s success, aha launched Season 2 in October this year.
This ‘John Doe’ order, according to the law firm, is a first of its kind obtained by an OTT platform in respect of original content. Significantly, it is not only an injunction against the infringers and the “world at large” from telecasting, hosting or distributing the web content for both seasons of ‘Unstoppable’, but also operates as a precedent for all future works that emanate from the web talk show with the scope to include future episodes, seasons, and metaverse exploitation of the show on future modes as well, the law firm stated.