Mumbai-based Super Cassettes Industries Ltd. (SCIL), one of India's biggest record and video labels, said yesterday it has obtained a court order that prohibits YouTube's Indian Web site from disseminating SCIL copyrighted content.

The Delhi High Court order follows a suit filed in February by SCIL against YouTube and parent company Google's Indian subsidiary - the first such legal action by an Indian company against the popular video-sharing service.

SCIL says YouTube was carrying videos of songs and complete films from SCIL's catalog, including recent hit movies such as "Don" and "Jaan-E-Man (Beloved)."

"The business model of YouTube allows, encourages and profits from use of copyrighted work uploaded on the website without obtaining any license or permission from the rightful copyright owners and without paying them any royalty," SCIL said in a statement.

"There are websites that encourage unlicensed sharing and distribution of copyright content, which is a new form of piracy in the digital medium," commented SCIL managing director Bhushan Kumar in a statement.

"Copyright is the engine of creative output of popular content," Kumar added. "We have to ensure that the incentive to create and distribute popular content is protected from these large corporations, which are trying to profit by destroying the value of the hard work of thousands of artists, for whom their
creative output is perhaps their only source of livelihood."

Calls to Hyderabad-based Google India, and London-based Google U.K. were unanswered by press time.

When SCIL filed suit against YouTube, Google India Communications and Public Affairs manager Roli Agarwal issued the following statement in which is said, "We do not control the content on our site. Our users post the content on YouTube - including videos, comments, and ratings."

The statement added, "Our community guidelines and clear messaging on the site make it clear that users must own or have permission from copyright holders to post any videos. We take copyright issues very seriously. We prohibit users from uploading infringing material and we co-operate with copyright holders to identify and promptly remove infringing content. The guidelines for requesting removal are available online -- these explain what kind of materials the complaining party will need to provide so that we can effectively review their case."