Madras High Court restrains operators from giving updates.
The Madras High Court has restrained mobile phone operators, websites and other content providers from giving cricket scores and updates on the ongoing one-day cricket series between India and Pakistan. The restraint will apply for four weeks, by which time the series will be over.
The companies that have been asked to stop live updates include Airtel, BSNL, Reliance Infocomm, Hutchison Essar, Idea Cellular, Aircel Cellular, Spice Telecom, Tata Indicom, Sify, Yahoo Webservices Ltd, Indiatimes, IMI Mobile, PhonyTunes.com, Rediff.com, Pyro Mobile, ON Mobile Asia-Pacific and CricInfo India.
The high court gave an interim order on a civil suit filed by Marksman Marketing Services Pvt Ltd. In its suit, Marksman Marketing had submitted that Vectracom Pvt Ltd had entered into an agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on December 29, 2005 for exclusive global SMS rights to the cricket matches.
The company had also submitted that during the recently concluded India-Pak Test match series, cellular phone operators and websites were providing information related to scores and updates without obtaining permission from Vectracom.
The petition also added that Vectracom feared that the trend would continue for the one-day series too.
In the immediate aftermath of the order, mobile phone operators and websites said they were exploring the possibility of a joint appeal against the Madras HC order.
While most operators declined to comment on the ground that they were yet to receive a copy of the HC order, some of them questioned the concept of “exclusive global SMS rights”.
“We are yet to receive the high court order and will take necessary steps after that,” TV Ramachandran, director-general, Cellular Operators Association of India said.