The Delhi High Court directed social media platform Twitter to provide Basic Subscriber Information (BSI) and other relevant details of five accounts responsible for leaking clips related to the upcoming Shah Rukh Khan-starrer "Jawan". After the clips got leaked, the high court, on April 25, had directed social media platforms, 'shady' websites, cable TV outlets, direct-to-home services, and various other platforms to remove the leaked clips and stop their circulation as well. Red Chillies Entertainment Private Ltd, a production house owned by Khan and his wife Gauri, had filed a lawsuit in the high court on this count.
The entertainment company's counsel submitted before the bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar that the a fresh application was filed in view of certain additional leaks committed by the Twitter accounts in question. It is the company's case that the nature of the leaks suggest that those running the Twitter handles had "accessed systems" of the plaintiff company.
Therefore, the application seeks direction on Twitter to disclose the BSI and other details including IP addresses, usernames, and phone numbers in respect of the five Twitter handles. Disposing of the application, Justice Shankar ordered: "Thus court directs the defendant no. 2 (Twitter) to provide information of five accounts by way of an affidavit as an additional document with advanced copy to the counsel of the plaintiff so that the plaintiff can take appropriate action."
He had earlier directed social media sites like YouTube, Google, Twitter, and Reddit to take action to halt the circulation of the movie's copyrighted content and ordered a number of internet service providers to prohibit access to websites that were showing or making the movie's footage available for viewing or downloading.
Two movie-related video snippets, according to the petitioner, were leaked on social media, one showing Shah Rukh Khan in a fight sequence, and the second showing a dance sequence.
"It is the plaintiff's (Red Chillies) case that these leaked video clips are nothing but clear violation of copyright/intellectual property rights of the plaintiff which are are causing damage and loss to the plaintiff. The leaked video clips together give away the look of the actors in the said film, as well as the music, both of which are typically disclosed at strategic points in time as part of the carefully-curated marketing strategy of a film," the court was told.
The lawsuit also claimed that specific images from the film's set, which were shot behind closed doors in a studio, had been leaked by the defendants. An apprehension was expressed that the rogue social media handles would further copy, reproduce and distribute the copyright-protected materials and other proprietary information on various platforms, the plea said.
"The plaintiff reasonably apprehends that such publication and unauthorised circulation of the leaked video clips will jeopardise the promotion and exploitation rights of the plaintiff in the said film, and as and when the said film is released in theatres, similar acts of piracy relating to the entire film would also commence and intermediaries/websites as described would again be utilised to illegally copy, record, download, reproduce, transmit and communicate the said copyright protected work to the general public," the plea said.