Court bans cricket score updates on mobiles, websites.
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has asked the service providers across the country not to give score updates of the India-Pakistan one-day international cricket series on mobile phones and websites after a firm said it had exclusive rights on the information. 

The court was acting on a civil suit filed by Marksman Marketing Services, which said it had secured the rights to send out short messaging texts (SMSs) of scores from Vectracom, a Pakistani firm. 

Vectracom had entered into an agreement with the Pakistan Cricket Board on Dec 29, 2005, with respect to the exclusive global SMS rights of the India-Pakistan series. 

Marksman argued that it thus had exclusive rights to "disseminate information relating to scores, alerts and updates or other events or happenings of the tour through SMS". 

The petitioner complained that during the India-Pakistan Test series that concluded this month, Indian mobile phone service providers were sending scores and updates through SMSs to their subscribers without permission from Vectracom. This was going to happen for the one-day international (ODI) series too, Marksman argued. 
Marksman said mobile service providers were taking part in "almost large-scale pirated transmission of live instant information" and "exploiting the rights of the petitioner in a commercial way and earning huge profits". 

Justice M. Chockalingam who heard the plea said: "The court is of considered opinion that it is a fit case for an ad-interim injunction." 

The judge held that the "balance of convenience" was in favour of the complainant and gave an interim ruling applicable for four weeks, the period of the ODIs. 

The fifth and the final ODI of the series will be played in Karachi Feb 19. 

The companies providing instant score updates named in the civil suit are Bharati Televentures (Airtel), the state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), Reliance Infocom, Hutchison Essar (Hutch), IDEA Cellular (Idea), Aircell Cellular, Aircell Ltd, Spice Telecom, Tata Indicom, Sify, Yahoo Webservices Ltd, IndiaTimes, IMI Mobile,,, Pyro Mobile, ON Mobile Asia-Pacific and CricInfo India. 

The suit also names the Board for Control of Cricket in India (BCCI and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).


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