Deal with “Hydra Headed Rogue Websites” Legally

by | Feb 2, 2022 | 0 comments


Digital piracy remains the biggest threat to content creators. While content creators and production houses put in a great deal of effort and money to create good content and obviously look forward to monetize their movies, TV shows, etc., the pirates share copyrighted content at will. Rogue websites are one of the most successful ways in which the pirates try to hoodwink antipiracy companies and law enforcement agencies.   These new techniques by pirates can only be dealt with futuristic and very stringent technical and legal measures by way of legislation, courts, law-enforcement agencies and antipiracy companies.

Rogue Websites-What are They?

Also known as, Hydra Headed Rogue Websites. The registration and ownership details of these websites are always masked. The ad network usually is anonymous.

Why Such Websites are Referred to as ‘Hydra’

The Lernean Hydra in Greek mythology, who is the offspring of Typhon and Echidna, is a giant water snake-like monster that has nine heads, one of which was immortal.  Anyone who attempted to behead the Hydra would soon find that when one head was cut off, two more heads would appear from the fresh wound. Rogue websites operate the same way.  When enforcement agencies, courts, or antipiracy companies bring down such websites, a multitude of them spring up and continue sharing infringed content.

Why Such Websites are Referred to as ‘Hydra’

How to Identify Rogue Websites?

Here’s a list of what you can look out for when checking for rogue websites:

  • The primary purpose of the website would be to commit infringement and facilitate infringement
  • The registration and details would be masked
  • There will be a lack of action by the website on receiving takedown notices or warnings by the copyright owner
  • The owner will generally show forms of disregard for copyright
  • Check if there is any existing court order that has disabled access to such websites
  • Verify traffic frequency to access similar websites
How to Identify Rogue Websites

Blocking rogue websites is one of the most effective ways to curb piracy.

How to Block Such Rogue Websites?

The Indian courts have realized such rogue websites have to dealt with “out of the box” legislation. Accordingly, John Doe Order aka Ashok Kumar order has been introduced as a new and strong force of fairness. This is a preemptive order that can be obtained against internet service providers, different cable operators, and the illegal and unlicensed distributors of different forms of content; and has proven to be very effective against hydra headed rogue sites.

John Doe Order aka Ashok Kumar order-A Few Details

Ashok Kumar Order or John Doe Order is an injunction provided by the courts when an anonymous person violates the IP rights of the IP rights owner and cannot be discerned at the time of filing the suit. It protects the IP rights owner by enabling them to serve notice and take stern legal actions against the infringers. The plaintiff or the IP rights holder has the legal right to search the premises and capture evidence of an infringement. If the person understands that there is the likelihood that his work is being pirated or infringed by an unidentifiable person, he is entitled to the proposition of the court for issuance of John Doe order. They are awarded ex-parte since the defendant is unidentifiable and the time is crucial.


It is heartening to see that Indian courts have risen to the occasion and have come out with such legislations to support the content creation industry.  An industry or ecosystem of actors, directors, artists, musicians, craftsmen, writers, transporters, caterers, productions houses, etc. can only flourish and remain viable if we are able to adequately control and defeat digital piracy.   For a comprehensive antipiracy solution that also includes procuring the John Doe order and blocking rogue websites, please drop us a line

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