June 4, 2015
By Puteri Nur Emilia Bte Samian
Mumbai − In a major breakthrough, Delhi Police, acting on the FIR No. 243/2014 lodged by Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd (ZEEL) and after carrying out a detailed initial investigations raided premises in Kalyanpur area of Lucknow on 22 May and found illegal tapping and unauthorised uploading of live-content of all popular Indian Television Channels − viz., ZEE TV, Star Plus, Colors, Sony TV, etc on pirated websites. During the raid, more than two dozen workers were caught red-handed, digitally stealing live feed of Indian TV Pay Channels using more than 50 DTH and cable TV set-top boxes. These persons were extracting TV feeds, removing watermarks and uploading them on their sites such as www.Desitvforum.net. These websites are being accessed by millions of viewers abroad in USA, Canada, Europe, UK, Netherlands and thousands of dollars are being illegally earned by these pirates causing huge amount of losses to the broadcasters. In addition, there has also been rampant violation of foreign exchange regulations and money laundering.
The mastermind of this piracy racket, Md. Asif Siddiqui was arrested by the Delhi Police and various equipments, including computers and other accessories, used in carrying out the piracy/signal theft were also seized. Investigations in the matter are continuing and more such raids and arrests are likely to follow based on the interrogation of the accused.
ZEEL had lodged an FIR no 243/2014 u/s IPC 379/420/465/107/109/120B, u/s 63 Copyright Act 1957 and u/s 66/66C of IT Act 2000 with Delhi Police in Chanakyapuri Police Station for unauthorised streaming of the episodes of various ZEE channel programmes within 10 to 12 minutes of their actual broadcast. The modus operandi was that in addition to tapping and stealing live feed of various channels from DTH and cable set top boxes, the accused persons within these 10-12 minutes, were recording video, editing identifiable information, adding their logo and uploading it to several servers simultaneously.