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Delhi HC asks WhatsApp to block users illegally circulating e-papers

Dainik Bhaskar provides access to its e-newspapers on a subscription model through its official website and mobile application.

The High Court of Delhi has directed WhatsApp to block or takedown the groups who are illegally circulating e-newspapers owned by Dainik Bhaskar Group.

Dainik Bhaskar approached the Delhi High Court seeking directions to WhatsApp to block or takedown certain groups operating on the instant messaging platform wherein the group’s e-newspapers were being shared and circulated illegally and without authorisation.

Other than WhatsApp, the DoT, GoI and administrators of the offending groups (identified by their mobile numbers) are also parties to the suit and notice has been issued to all defendants.

Dainik Bhaskar had earlier approached WhatsApp through a legal notice with a request to block/ takedown the offending groups as they were infringing the copyright and registered trademarks of the Dainik Bhaskar Group. WhatsApp, however, in its response had declined the request seeking production of a court order.

Illegal and unauthorised sharing of e-newspapers, across publications, has become rampant and is prejudicial to the interests of the publishers.

Dainik Bhaskar provides access to its e-newspapers on a subscription model through its official website and mobile application. Users are neither permitted to download the e-newspapers, nor are they permitted to share and circulate the same.