IPRMENT HIGHLIGHTS OF 2017

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IPRMENT HIGHLIGHTS OF 2017

 COPYRIGHT

  • Force 2- The Cyber Crime Investigation Cell, Mumbai, registered an FIR against K Sera Sera Digital Cinema Ltd after a complaint filed by Viacom18 Media Pvt Ltd (Viacom18) in relation to online piracy of its film Force-2.
  • Rangoon– Copyright infringement suit filed in Bombay High Court by Wadia Movietone against makers of the film Rangoon claiming that ‘Jaanbaaz Miss Julia’, the character played by Kanagana Ranaut was based on ‘Fearless Nadia’ a character in their 1935 movie ‘Hunterwali’. Justice K.R. Shriram stated that while he was inclined to grant an injunction preventing the release of the movie, he would refrain from the same if the Defendants furnished a bank guarantee of INR 2 crores with 10% interest before March 4, 2017. The suit is still pending before the Bombay High Court.
  • Novex files FIR against two Mahabaleshwar resorts over copyright violation– The cases were filed with the Judicial Magistrate First Class at Mahabaleshwar. The court directed the Mahabaleshwar police station to lodge two different complainants against Hotel Brightland, one for infringement of copyright of Zee music and one for infringement of copyright of YRF music. Similarly, two different complaints were filed against Dreamland for copyright infringement. The FIR was registered on March 3, 2017 under Sections 63 and 69 of the Copyright Act.
  • Super Cassettes Industries Ltd vs SCN Sujala Channel-In a suit filed by T-Series against a cable operator for copyright infringement of its copyrighted works, the Delhi High Court passed an injunction against the defendant cable operator and imposed punitive damages worth Rs. 5 Lacs.
  • Sarkar 3- Nilesh Girkar filed a suit in the Bombay High Court against Ram Gopal Verma claiming infringement of his copyright in the film Sarkar-3. The Suit was disposed of based on the condition that credit be given to the plaintiff as “Based on a story written by Nilesh Girkar”. The Plaintiff was allowed to withdraw an amount of Rs. 6.2 lakhs which had been deposited in the Court towards the balance claim by the Plaintiff as his fees with accumulated interest, if any.
  • Another copyright infringement case was filed by Narendra Hirawat & Co against Sarkar 3 claiming copyright infringement on the grounds that it held the remake rights of the film.  The Bombay High Court refused to grant any reliefs to the plaintiff.
  • Phillauri– A suit was filed by Dashrath B Rathod against Fox Star Studios India Pvt. Ltd and Ors, claiming copyright infringement of his copyright in the 2013 Gujarati, Bhojpuri and Nepali film ‘Mangal Phera’ by the Defendants’ film ‘Phillauri’. The Bombay High Court did not find any originality in the works claimed by the Plaintiff as similar to the Defendant’s treatment of the film. Justice Patel, relying on the provisions of the Commercial Courts Act, 2015, imposed cost of Rs. 5 Lacs on the Plaintiff.
  • Pushpaka Vimana– Kannada film Pushpaka Vimana was restrained from exhibition as per an order by the Bombay High Court as the film appeared to be a copy of the Korean film Miracle in Cell No. 7. Kross Pictures, a television production company based in South Korea alleged that the movie’s storyline was a copy of the Korean movie Miracle in Cell No. 7, the rights to which are owned by Kross Pictures India.
  • Delhi HC orders OnePlus to stop airing Amitabh Bachchan ad: The Delhi High Court restrained Chinese mobile manufacturer OnePlus from airing its advertisement featuring actor Amitabh Bachchan following a copyright infringement plea by broadcaster Sony Pictures Networks India (SPN).
  • Novex filedcases against a large array of pubs, hotels, casinos and the like in Goa for playing copyrighted music without obtaining its prior approval.
  • Ex-parte injunction granted in a plagiarism suit filed before Bangalore civil court against Chetan Bhagat and his publishers, restraining them from selling copies of his recent book One Indian Girl. Anvita Bajpai, a Bangalore-based author, sued Bhagat alleging that the book was plagiarised from her short story Drawing Parallels, published as part of ananthology in 2014.
  • Wanted: Boney Kapoor wins 7-year-long case in Allahabad High Court: In 2009, a local court in Meerut booked producer-director Boney Kapoor, his wife Sridevi, filmmaker Prabudheva and actor Salman Khan in a case of alleged copyright infringement and plagiarism for their action-drama, Wanted. Petitioner Birbal Singh Rana, a local writer-director, alleged that Kapoor’s production house, BSK Network and Entertainment, had stolen his original script, Raja Bhai IPS, for their film. Birbal, in his petition claimed, that he had submitted his copyright script to the company in 2004, but it was rejected and later re-created for their own project.
  • Raabta: Magadheera makers (Geeta Arts) moved City Civil court at Hyderabad against Raabta makers over copyright infringement. The suit was eventually dismissed as withdrawn.
  • Ola Cabs booked by Bengaluru police for music copyright issue: Police in Bengaluru searched the offices of cab aggregator Ola and seized hard disks and other electronic devices over allegations that songs had been illegally downloaded and were being played in the company’s taxis without the requisite permission. Police also conducted surprise checks on Ola cabs and seized some of them. A copyright infringement case was filed against Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal and chief technical officer Ankit Bhati on a complaint by Lahari Recording Co.
  • Toilet Ek Prem Katha:
  • Naveen Joshi vs Union of India and ors (Jabalpur High Court)- The petitioner filed the writ petition challenging the action of the respondents whereby the private respondents were using the song “Hus Mat Pagali Pyar Ho Jayega” written by the petitioner without his permission. The Court dismissed the writ petition on maintainability of the writ petition on the ground of alternate remedy since the District Court is having jurisdiction in the matter when there is infringement of copyright.
  • Prateek Sharma vs Viacom 18 Motion Pictures & Ors (Jaipur- District and Sessions Judge)- copyright infringement suit alleging infringement of copyright in the story. No injunction granted.
  • Chargesheet filed against Rakesh Roshan for Krissh 3 plagiarism: The Uttarakhand police filed a chargesheet against filmmaker Rakesh Roshan, reportedly accusing him of plagiarising portions of a story written by a Roopnanarayn Sonkar and using it in his 2013 blockbuster ‘Krrish 3’.
  • Irrfan Khan’s Hindi Medium wins the copyright case filed by a Bengali filmmaker of film ‘Ramdhanu’- Bengali filmmaker duo Shiboprasad Mukerjee and Nandita Roy, accused the film ‘Hindi Medium’ of plagiarism and got an injunction on its release on any new platform, including on television. The suit was eventually dismissed as withdrawn.
  • In the case of Neetu Singh v. Rajiv Saumitra, the Delhi High Court clarified aspects of Section 17 of the Copyright Act, 1957 and held that when the ownership of copyright is disputed between an employer and an employee, it is the terms of employment that have to be looked into and held that in the instant case although the Plaintiff was working as a Director of the Defendant No. 2 company from 2012 to 2014, the Defendants had failed to prove that the literary work was authored as part of her duties and obligations as a Director and granted an injunction in favour of the Plaintiff.
  • Baadshaho: In a suit filed by Trimurti Films Pvt. Ltd, the Bombay High Court restrained Super Cassettes Industries Private Limited from releasing the film Baadshaho with the song ‘ Keh Doon Tumhe ’ from 1974 film Deewar . The court stated that Super Cassettes may release the film by removing the infringing song. Trimurti Films Private Limited, which holds the copyright to the song, had approached the High Court, seeking an injunction on the release of Baadshaho, citing copyright infringement. The Bombay High Court also dismissed an appeal filed by the film producers against the single judge bench order.
  • FIR filed against makers of the film ‘Mr Perfect’ starring Prabhas on a complaint filed by Shyamala Rani alleging that the story line of the movie Mr Perfectis based on her novel titled Na Manasu Korindi Ninne and that certain scenes and the overall tone of the film also coincides with her writing.
  • Enforcement Directorate raids offices of music companies over non payment of copyright royalty to authors- Enforcement directorate (ED) has registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act against several music labels including T Series, Sony Music, Universal, Saregama, etc.
  • Thiagarajan Kumararaja v. M/s Capital Film Works and Anr: The Madras High Court held that the producer of a film has the right to dub that film in any other language, subject to any agreement to the contrary.  While deciding on the question whether dubbing of a film into another language would violate the rights of the scriptwriter, held that the producers have the right to replace the sound recording of the original film with a different language. The Court based its finding on an expansive reading of the phrase ‘communication to the public’ under Section 2(ff) of the Copyright Act and observed that ‘dubbing’ would fall under the said definition. The Court also observed that dubbing is distinct from translation, and the producer’s rights to communicate the film to the public, through dubbing, does not affect the rights of the author of the underlying script.

CONTENT REGULATION

  • In a petition filed by NGO ‘Common Cause’, the Supreme Court suggested the Union Government to set up a statutory mechanism to decide people’s grievances against programmes broadcast on the visual medium.
  • Ghazi Attack: : ‘The Ghazi Attack’, allegedly based on the sinking of an Indian submarine during the 1971 Indo-Pak war under mysterious circumstances, was instructed by the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to remove it’s opening titles claiming that the film is based on historical facts and add a disclaimer that it is ‘partly fictional and partly authentic’.
  • Amol Palekar moves SC seeking relaxation in censorship of films – the veteran actor Amol Palekar filed a PIL with the Supreme Court, questioning censorship practices and suggesting suitable guidelines for pre-censorship of films. A notice was issued to the I&B ministry and the censor board, based on the PIL, in order to relax the pre-censorship seen on Indian films.
  • Lipstick Under my Burkha- The film was denied certification by CBFC for being lady oriented. In an appeal filed before the FCAT, the Tribunal held that films could not be denied certification on the basis that they are women-oriented.
  • Babri Masjid- Bhojpuri film ‘Babri Masjid’ denied certification by CBFC for its communal context.
  • Delhi HC seeks govt’s reply on plea to halt TV show ‘Fatah Ka Fatwa’-The court issued the direction during the hearing of a public interest litigation by Uttar Pradesh resident Hifzur Rehman Khan, who alleged that the TV programme hosted by Tarek Fatah, a Canadian writer and liberal activist, was trying to promote enmity between Muslims and non-Muslims in the country by giving “baseless arguments about religion”. The Centre informed the court that telecast of the episodes of a TV series ‘Fatah Ka Fatwa’ had been stopped after complaints against it for allegedly promoting enmity between communities.
  • Allahabad Court directs MIB to investigate Nirmal Baba’s shows for ‘spreading superstition’: The Allahabad High Court directed the information and broadcasting ministry to probe allegations that the television shows of godman Nirmal Baba were spreading superstition in a PIL filed by K. Saran, a Lucknow-based lawyer. The petitioner had sought action against the television channels broadcasting the programmes of Nirmal Baba under the Rule 6 of the Cable Television Network Rules 1994. The petitioner had alleged that the baba’s shows were encouraging blind faith and superstition.
  • Omprakash Zindabad: Denied Certification by The CBFC for ‘Explicit Content’, Om Puri’s Last Film got eventually cleared by FCAT for release
  • Indu Sarkar-Priya Paul who claims to be the probable biological daughter of Sanjay Gandhi filed a petition in the Bombay High Court and sought quashing of the certificate issued by the CBFC for the film ‘Indu Sarkar’ on the ground that the film is derogatory to her father Sanjay Gandhi and grandmother Indira Gandhi’s image. On the petition being dismissed by the Bombay High Court, she filed a SLP in the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order. The bench declined to stay the release of the film and highlighted that certain historical movies are often inspired from ideas based on the real stories and situations.
  • PIL filed in the Madras High Court by petitioner Saravanan alias cine Saravanan seeking for production of popular reality television show Bigg Boss Tamil to be stopped. The petitioner has claimed that the show has disturbed the sentiments of underprivileged people and that the portrayal of women contestants in the show is ‘vulgar and obscene’, adding that the show plays with the emotion and behaviour of its women participants.
  • Ka Bodyscapes– In the wake of the CBFC refusing to certify the film Ka Bodyscapes after viewing it a fourth time in Thiruvananthapuram in July 2017 end, the Kerala High Court found the CBFC and its former chairman Pahlaj Nihalani guilty of contempt. It asked the board, whose members were divided over clearing the film for public viewing, to go by the majority decision.
  • Bombay High Court refuses to stay release of the film ‘Haseena Parkar’ in a PIL filed by a city based resident- The Bombay High Court refused to stay the release of the Shraddha Kapoor starrer movie “Haseena Parkar”, saying it can’t pass last-minute orders on a film cleared by the censor board. The petitioner contended that several dialogues in the movie were “anti-national” and that the film made light of a “sensitive issue such as the 1993 blasts in Mumbai”.
  • Bombay HC quashes obscenity case against Big Boss makers, Colors TV- The Bombay High Court quashed a case of obscenity, indecency and indecent representation of woman registered in 2008 against Colors TV (Viacom 18), and Endemol India Pvt Ltd, producers of reality show “Big Boss”. An FIR was lodged against the channel and producers of the show in October 2008 at suburban Andheri police station for offences punishable under IPC sections 292 and 294 (obscenity) and relevant sections of the Indecent Representation of Women’s Act. The case was lodged by Sunil Ahire, president of the Mumbai Pradesh Youth Congress, alleging that he had been watching the show and found that the participants were spreading “indecency, vulgarity and also propagating indecent representation” of women.
  • Umeed- CBFC asks director of film ‘Umeed’ which is based on pharma companies to remove ‘inspired by real incidents’ claim from the film.
  • Mohalla Assi- Delhi HC directs CBFC to grant ‘A’ certificate to controversial film Mohalla Assi- In a petition filed by Crossword Entertainment Private Limited, challenging an order passed by the Film Certificate Appellate Tribunal (FCAT), wherein the movie had been denied certificate for exhibition, the Delhi High Court directed the CBFC to grant the film an ‘A’ certificate. Makers of the movie Mohalla Assi have now filed a contempt petition against the Central Bureau of Film Certification’s (CBFC) chairperson Prasoon Joshi. The petition was filed on December 22, 2017 after the CBFC failed to comply with a Delhi High Court order to certify the film.
  • The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), ordered a ban on two news channels, Assamese news channel DY 365 and Gujarati news channel VTV, for violation of the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995- The decision to ban the two channels was taken by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) which concluded that “DY 365” was in violation of Rule 6 (1) (a), (l)& (o) of the cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 and VTV was in violation of Rule 6 6 [1] (a) & 6 (1) (I) of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994 under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995.
  • Ministry of Information and Broadcasting clarifies that condom ads without sexually explicit content can be telecast before 10pm It is clarified that the said advisory only pertains to sexually explicit content being used to market certain condom brands which titillate the audience from a PR perspective. Advertisements that do not sexually objectify women and are aimed at informing citizens regarding devices/products/medical interventions to ensure safe sex are not covered under the said advisory,”. The clarification came post Rajasthan High Court issuing notice to the central government on a petition filed by Global Alliance for Human Rights challenging the advisory banning condom advertisements on television during day hours.
  • S Durga– The Kerala High Court directed the organizers of International Film Festival of India to include and exhibit the film ‘ S Durga’, directed by Sanal Kumar Sashidharan in the Indian Panorama section of the Festival.
  • Supreme Court dismisses the plea filed by Nachiketa Walhekar seeking stay on release of the film ‘An Insignificant Man’ based on the life of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal– The SC dismissed the plea seeking a stay on its release saying freedom of speech and expression was “sacrosanct”. The Court held that any film, theatre, drama or novel was a creation of art and courts should not crucify rights of an expressive mind.
  • Padmavati– Several petitions were filed in different courts in India alleging that the film ‘Padmavati’ distorts historical facts. Most of these petitions were disposed of since they were premature litigations prior to the CBFC certificate being granted
  • Rajendra Singh @ Raj Savram Singh Shekhawat v. Central Government of India, ministry of Information & Broadcasting & Ors (Gujarat High Court)- The Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court observed the subject matter of the petition falls within the purview of CBFC which would examine the film ‘Padmavati’ when an application would be made in that regard. Accordingly, the petition was dismissed
  • Siddharajsinh Mahavirsinh Chudasama v. State of Gujarat & Ors (Supreme Court)- The SC disposed of the petition and observed that the Censor Board would follow its guidelines while issuing certificate to the concerned film and since the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) is yet to certify the film, the Supreme Court would refrain from exercising the jurisdiction of statutory authority.
  • Manohar Lal Sharma v. Sanjay Leela Bhansali (Supreme Court of India) -The Petitioner, advocate Manohar Lal Sharma, had filed a petition in the SC seeking direction to the CBI for issuing a writ of mandamus to the CBI to register a FIR against “Bhansali and others u/s 499 and 500 of IPC to investigate and probe, the director and producer of the film ‘Padmavati’. Mr. Manohar Lal Sharma’s case was that the film’s songs had been released publicly before the film had been presented before the CBFC. He sought the court for an FIR against director Sanjay Leela Bhansali and producer Mukesh Ambani (chairman of production house Viacom 18) for defaming a legendary Hindu queen and indulging in her “character assassination” by depicting distorted historical facts. SC disposed of the petition, reasoning that the Central Board of Film Certification was yet to take a decision for approval of the concerned film .
  • Chetan Ramlal Bhutada & Ors. v. Bhansali Productions & Ors (Pune District and Sessions Court) – The Pune civil court, after granting permission under section 91 CPC (Civil Procedure Code 1908) to the advocates issued summons and show cause notice to Bhansali Productions and entire star cast of 6 people and thereby ordered them to appear before the court.
  • Rajasthan court accepts complaint filed by complainant Bhawani Shankar Sharma against ‘Padmavati’ crew– A local court in Rajasthan accepted a complaint against filmmaker  Sanjay Leela Bhansali and actors Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Shahid Kapoor and others in regard to ongoing controversy relating to their forthcoming film ‘Padmavati’. The court did not directly send the complaint to police for registration of FIR but asked for recording of statement of the complainant.
  • Delhi High Court dismisses plea seeking pre-screening of the film Padmavati- A PIL was filed in the Delhi HC seeking the setting up of an expert committee comprising of historians, social activists and a retired high court judge to ensure that there was no distortion of historical facts in the movie. The plea was dismissed
  • FIR against Javed Akhtar for allegedly making ‘insulting’ remarks on Rajput community: According to the reports, FIR has been lodged against Javed Akhtar at the Sindhi camp police station, Jaipur.
  • Gurugram man files FIR against BJP leader Suraj Pal Amu for his call to behead movie’s cast: A man from Gurugram filed an FIR against Bharatiya Janata Party leader Suraj Pal Amu for his comments against Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone and filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali over the movie Padmavati. The FIR was filed after the Haryana BJP chief media coordinator’s unsavoury remarks against Padukone and Bhansali
  • Jaipur Court rejects plea to file FIR against makers of ‘Padmavati’– The petitioner, Bhagwati Prasad Sharma, had filed a complaint against 11 persons, including film director Sanjay Leela Bhansali, lead actress Deepika Padukone and the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), among others, over causing anarchy and chaos in the country and hurting the sentiments of the Rajput community by stirring a controversy over the film. The additional chief metropolitan magistrate court (No-16), however, rejected the demand of the petitioner to register an FIR against the filmmakers and conduct a probe into the conspiracy.
  • A Complaint was filed in a Lucknow court demanding criminal prosecution of filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali for holding a special screening of his controversial film, Padmavati, for three journalists without getting permission from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). The complaint, filed by a local lawyer Ashok Pandey, under Section 202 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), was registered in the court of judicial magistrate (III).

 TRADEMARK

  • Runningshaadi.com– In a suit filed by People Interactive Pvt. Ltd, owners of the matrimonial website ‘Shaadi.com’, the Bombay High Court directed the producers of the film ‘Runningshaadi.com’ to drop ‘shaadi.com’ from its title.
  • Rubik’s Cube: Rubiks Brand Ltd (Rubiks) filed a case against the adoption of the term ‘Rubik’s Cube’ by Mr. Mahesh Manjrekar as the title of his upcoming Marathi movie. The Bombay High court granted an injunction against Mr. Manjrekar restraining the defendants from working on any film or other material bearing the title ‘Rubik’s Cube’ or the term ‘Rubik’ therein.
  • Madras HC vacates stay on use of ‘Mersal’ as title for Vijay’s film– The Madras High Court vacated the order of interim injunction granted by it on September 22, 2017 restraining Thenandal Studios from using the title, Mersal. Mr. Rajendran of Film Factori had contended to have registered a similar title, Merrasalaitan, as well as Naan Merrasalaitan, with the Tamil Film Producers Council in 2015. He also claimed to have been renewing the registration every year after the payment of necessary charges.
  • Veere Di Wedding- Anil Kapoor Film Company Co. Pvt. Ltd. v Make My Day Entertainment & Anr- The Plaintiff claimed that it had rights in the title of their film ‘Veere Di Wedding’, which had been registered with the Film Writer’s Association and Indian Film and Television Producers Council. The Defendant made a film titled ‘Veere Ki Wedding’, the shooting for which had been concluded. The Court found that there was no prima facie case in passing off and hence no ad-interim reliefs were granted. The Supreme Court stayed proceedings in Make My Day Entertainment vs Anil Kapoor Film Co Pvt Ltd and Others, which was pending before a civil judge (senior division), Rohtak.
  • Mattel Inc sues makers of the Sunny Leone film ‘Tera Intezaar’ over use of the word ‘Barbie’ in their song- The Delhi High Court refused to grant ex-parte injunction against the toy company. The court also noted that the plea may be considered at the notice stage. “It will be open to the counsel for the plaintiffs to, with or without a copy of this order, call upon the defendants to delete the word ‘Barbie’ from the impugned song and to notify the defendants that on their failure to do so, the plaintiffs would be entitled to damages from the defendants,” Justice Endlaw noted.
  • Bigtree Entertainment Pvt Ltd vs Brain Seed Sportainment Pvt Ltd- The Delhi High Court in  denied the Plaintiffs, proprietors and owners of the website com, an interim injunction against the Defendant’s use of the domain bookmysports.com. The Court held that the existence of domain names using the prefix BOOKMY, both prior and subsequent to the Plaintiff’s mark, indicated that the prefix was descriptive. Further that the words BOOKMY was not an arbitrary coupling of words, but rather a phase describing the particular activity that the Plaintiff and others were engaged in.

TRAI

  • Star India Pvt. Ltd and its subsidiary, Vijay Television Pvt. Ltd filed a writ petition in Madras High Court challenging that TRAI’s draft tariff order is in conflict with the Copyright Act.

HURTING RELIGIOUS (& OTHER) SENTIMENTS

  • Bigg Boss 10: Case filed against Swami Om, Salman Khan, Colors CEO for obscenity before the chief judicial magistrate of Bareilly. Lawyer Anil Dwivedi said in his complaint that the reality show is promoting obscenity, use of foul language and is responsible for hurting the sentiments of Hindu community. The lawyer also blamed the actor and the CEO of the channel.
  • Jolly LLB 2: Petition filed by lawyer Ajay Kumar Waghmare in Aurangabad bench of Bombay High Court seeking certain alterations in the film ‘Jolly LLB 2’ alleging that the film projected the Indian judiciary in a derogatory manner. The petition was dismissed after the producers agreed to the 4 cuts directed by the committee appointed by the High Court to view the film.
  • Sardarji jokes– In a petition filed by Harvinder Chowdhury, the Supreme Court held that it was part of Constitution’s fundamental duties that people should respect each other and no particular community should be made the butt of jokes , but expressed its reservation in passing ban order on jokes targeting a community. “Courts cannot lay down moral guidelines for citizens. Although Fundamental Duties are part of the constitutions and people must have respect but how can court pass order on such issues,” the bench said while referring to Article 51A which says that it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to promote harmony and the spirit of common brotherhood amongst all the people transcending religious, linguistic and regional or sectional diversities.
  • Arrest warrant issued against Rakhi Sawant for allegedly making objectionable remarks against sage Valmiki. The actress eventually was granted an anticipatory bail.
  • Dhoni: Supreme Court quashed a criminal case against Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a case related to hurting religious sentiments. The case was related to Dhoni being portrayed as Lord Vishnu on the cover of a magazine. The apex court observed that there was no deliberate or malicious intent on Dhoni’s part and no case had been made out. Supreme Court observed that it would be travesty of justice if Dhoni was prosecuted as he didn’t do anything with malicious intent. Concerned by the misuse of Section 295A of IPC, which provides up to three years’ jail term for hurting religious sentiments, the Supreme Court limited the applicability of the penal provision to deliberate and malicious acts rather than casual observations that are not driven by malicious intent.
  • Police complaint against makers of Baahubali: The Conclusion for caste slur: Members of a group filed a police complaint against the makers of the magnum opus in Hyderabad for allegedly showing their community in a bad light and hurting their sentiments by using a caste slur. According to the reports, the members of the Arekatika Porata Samithi filed a complaint at the Banjara Hills police station in Hyderabad, alleging they were offended by a scene in which Kattappa saysKatika Cheekati (in Telugu). The group has claimed that Katika is a caste slur and has insulted their community.
  • ‘Behen Hogi Teri’ makers, arrested for ‘hurting religious sentiments’, finally released on bail: The director and producer of the film ‘Behen Hogi Teri’, who were arrested for ‘hurting religious sentiments’ for showingRajkummar Rao dressed as Shiva sitting on a bike, were finally released on bail.
  • Mumbai court summons Ram Gopal Varma for poking fun at Lord Ganesha: The Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in Andheri has issued summons to filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma (RGV) to appear before the court on August 8, 2017 for poking fun at Lord Ganesha on his Twitter account.
  • Mersal- Police complaint filed against Vijay for hurting ‘Hindu sentiments’- Mersal was in the midst of a controversy after the Tamil Nadu unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) demanded the removal of certain dialogues, which take a dig at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Digital India programme. A police complaint has been filed against Tamil actor Vijay for allegedly hurting ‘Hindu sentiments’ through the film.
  • A Varanasi court ordered an FIR to be filed against Kamal Haasan for his write-up on ‘Hindu terror’, a day after a Varanasi-based lawyer Kamlesh Tripathi filed a complaint accusing the actor of ‘hurting religious’ sentiments. Further, members of Shiv Sena also filed a complaint against Kamal Hassan for the said remark.

 DEFAMATION

  • Bata slaps defamation case against Jolly LLB-2- Bata filed a criminal defamation case against the team of Jolly LLB-2 for using “derogatory remarks and defamatory reference” to Bata as a brand in the first official trailer for the movie. “
  • Shashi Tharoor files defamation suit against Arnab Goswami, Republic TV in High Court : Congress MP Shashi Tharoor today filed a civil defamation suit against Arnab Goswami and his newlylaunched news channel Republic TV in the Delhi High Court claiming damages and compensation of Rs 2 crore for allegedly making defamatory remarks against him while airing news relating to the death of his wife Sunanda Pushkar.

CELEBRITIES:

  • Case filed against Shahrukh Khan for allegedly rioting and damaging railway property during promotions of his film ‘Raees’. The Gujarat High Court put an interim stay on criminal proceedings against actor Shah Rukh Khan for his alleged culpability in triggering a melee at Vadodara Railway Station while promoting his film Raees, during which a man had died of heart attack.
  • Pratyusha Banerjee’s boyfriend approached the Dindoshi City Civil Court, Mumbai seeking a stay on the film’ Hum Kuch Keh Na Sakey’ based on her life alleging the film to be defamatory against him.
  • Case filed against Navjot Singh Sidhu for cracking vulgar jokes on ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’- After filing petition in Punjab and Haryana High court seeking ban on cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu from participating in Kapil Sharma Show, Advocate Hari Chand Arora wrote to Punjab government to take cognizance of Sidhu’s alleged ‘vulgar’ uttering’s. Asking Sidhu not to participate in the comedy show where comments could be damaging to the interest of his position as a minister, the High Court said that the issue wasn’t just about the legality but also about propriety and morality.
  • Case filed against Kamal Hassan in a local Tamil Nadu court over alleged remarks against the Mahabharata during an interview to a private Tamil television channel; The proceedings were eventually stayed by the High Court.
  • FIR against Shilpa Shetty, Raj Kundra in Rs 24-lakh cheating case-The case was filed on a complaint of a textile unit owner in Bhiwandi who alleged that the couple collected the amount on his behalf but did not pay him.
  • Punjab HC Dismisses Plea for FIR against Sonu Nigam, supports his view on loudspeakers: Hearing a petition filed by petitioner Aash Mohaammad seeking an FIR against singer Sonu Nigam for his tweets on azaan, the Punjab and Haryana High Court asserted that azaan is an integral part of Islam but microphones and loudspeakers are not.
  • Cricketer Gautam Ghambir takes two Delhi pubs to court over use of the tagline ‘by Gautam Gambhir’, which was causing confusion among his fans.  A teetotaler himself, he was distressed at this ‘false association’ caused by the tagline and claimed that his name had been used without his consent in a way that can prejudice his image.
  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni lands in court for endorsing two competing brands- The two brands that Dhoni has endorsed are Fit7, a gym and fitness brand. He has also endorsed Sportsfit World Private Limited (SWPL). The petitioner, Vikas Arora, is a 33 per cent stakeholder in SWPL. SWPL decided to go to court against Dhoni for breach of endorsement agreement. The court, has interfered and has sought explanations from Fit7, Sportsfit owners as well as Dhoni.
  • District Consumer Forum, New Delhi dismisses plea to summon Shahrukh Khan in Fair & Handsome case- The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, New Delhi dismissed a plea to summon Shahrukh Khan, the brand ambassador for Emami’s Fair and Handsome, in a case filed against the claims made by the fairness cream. In 2015, the District Forum had ruled in favour of the complainant Nikhil Jain, and directed Emami to withdraw its advertisement for the product. Emami was also ordered to pay Rs 15 lakh as punitive damages to the Consumer Welfare Fund maintained by the State Commission at Delhi. On appeal however, the State Commission noted that the complainant had not presented any evidence save for his personal affidavit.

CCI:

  • The Supreme Court of India has ruled that pressure tactics employed by a committee of artists and technicians of the film and television industry, with a view to prohibit telecast of dubbed serials, would amount to an anti-competitive practice under Section 3 of the Competition Act, 2002. The judgment was delivered by a Bench of Justices AK Sikri and Abhay Manohar Sapre in an appeal filed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against the decision of Competition Appellate Tribunal (COMPAT). The original complaint was filed by Hart Video (an assignee of the Bengali dubbing rights of the Hindi serial ‘Mahabharata’) when Eastern India Motion Picture Association’ (EIMPA) and the other of artists and technicians called ‘Committee of Artists and Technicians of West Bengal Film and Television Investors’ (Co-ordination Committee) wrote letters to two TV channels viz. CTVN+ and Channel 10 asking them not to telecast the dubbed serial apprehending that the dubbed serial may deter production of such serials in Bengali because of the entry of serials produced in other languages by dubbing the same in their language.
  • CCI finds 4 Malayalam film bodies guilty of anti-competitive conduct: The Competition Commission of India (CCI) found four Malayalam film associations —Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA), Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA), FEFKA Director’s Union, FEFKA Production Executive’s Union — and their five Office Bearers to be in contravention of the Competition Law. The CCI order came in response to a complaint filed by movie director TG Vinayakumar. According to a press release issued by the ministry of corporate affairs, Vinayakumar approached the CCI accusing the associations of anti-competitive conduct. Vijayakumar complained that the associations allegedly tried to force various actors, technicians, producers and financers, not to work with him or associate with any of his project due to his efforts to streamline the working conditions of artistes and for the initiative ‘Cinema Forum’, which envisaged collaboration between filmmakers and distributors to make low budget movies with new actors. The Council found the allegations made against AMMA, FEFKA, FEFKA Director’s Union, FEFKA Production Executive’s Union, along with the five other office bearers — Innocent, Edavela Babu, Sibi Malayil, B. Unnikrishnan and K. Mohanan — to be in contravention of Section 3(3) of the Competition Act, 2002.
  • COMPAT UPHOLDS FINE ON KFCC, KTVA AND KFPACompetition Tribunal confirms fines for preventing telecast of dubbed Satyamev Jayate, Koffi Shop and Rani Laxmibai
    In a setback to the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), Karnataka Television Association (KTVA) and the Kannada Film Producers Association (KFPA), the Competition Appellate Tribunal has held an order and a fine imposed upon these bodies for curtailing competition by preventing the telecast of serials and films dubbed in Kannada. Subsequently, an appeal was filed by KFCC to ban the dubbing in films and in small screens which was quashed by the Supreme Court.
  • CCI rules that movie producers have right to choose digital cinema provider: Ruling in favour of the producers of movie Kahaani 2 in a complaint filed by K Sera Sera, the Competition Commission of India has said there was no contravention of Sections 3 & 4 of the Competition Act, 2002, on part of the producers for entering into an agreement with two digital media service providers exclusively for the distribution of their movie.
  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has directed Sa. Ra. Govindu, President, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce (KFCC), actor Jaggesh, Kannada activist Vatal Nagaraj, and others against “obstructing” release of dubbed films into Kannada. The commission had earlier ruled that there can be no legal impediments to release of dubbed films.
  • The Competition Commission ordered a fresh investigation against public broadcaster Prasar Bharati on complaint of alleged abuse of dominance with regard to infrastructural facilities for FM radio broadcasting.
  • CCI asks All India Film Employees Confederation (AIFEC), Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) and its affiliates to “cease and desist” from anti-competitive business practices- The Competition Commission of India (CCI) order was passed on a complaint filed by one Vipul Shah who had alleged that specific provision of an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between FWICE and the three producers associations (Indian Motion Picture Producers Association (IMPPA), Film and Television Producers Guild of India (FTPGI) and Indian Film and Television Producers Council (IFTPC)) was anti- competitive. It was also alleged that provisions such as those pertaining to “member-to-member working, fixation of wages, charging for extra-shift” were anti-competitive. After detailed investigation, CCI found that the clause 6 of the pact that mandated that the producer can only engage with the members of FWICE and its affiliates violated competition norms. The watchdog found that all these entities violated competition norms by entering into anti-competitive agreements. In its order, the CCI noted that trade unions enjoy no immunity or exemption for their conduct which contravenes the provisions of the Competition Act. Thereby, it dismissed the plea of trade unions that they are governed only by the provisions of Trade Union Act, 1926.
  • CCI dismisses allegations of abuse of dominant position against K Sera Sera & 7 others in a complaint filed by a Madhya Pradesh-based cinema hall proprietor: The Competition Commission has dismissed allegations of abuse of dominance against K Sera Sera Digital Cinema and seven other entities viz. Viacom 18, Aditya Chowksey, UFO Movies India, E-City Digital Cinema, Real Image Media Technology, United Media Works and the Film and TV Producers Guild of India, with regard to supply of equipment used for the purpose of film exhibition. The complaint was made by a Madhya Pradesh-based cinema hall proprietor, who had entered into an agreement with K Sera Sera, wherein the latter had agreed to install all the necessary Digital Cinema Equipment (DCE) required for the purposes of screening films at the former’s theatre premises. It was alleged that K Sera Sera had abused its dominant position by unlawfully terminating the agreement and that the Film & TV Producers Guild had done the same by issuing diktats to all producers to not deal with the complainant. Noting that there are various other players in the relevant market offering DCE, the fair-trade regulator said K Sera Sera “does not seem to hold a dominant position” in it. In its order dated December 29, 2017. The CCI said that in the absence of dominance, no case of abuse of dominance in contravention of Section 4 of the Competition Act can be made out K Sera Sera. The fair-trade regulator also said that the dispute between the complainant and K Sera Sera for alleged unlawful termination of the agreement by the latter primarily appears to be a contractual dispute, for which the former “may approach an appropriate forum”.

JOHN DOE ORDERS

  • Si3
  • Sony- IPL
  • Gentleman- Sundar Sushil Risky
  • Lipstick Under my Burkha
  • Jab Harry Met Sejal

MISCELLANEOUS

  • Supreme Court judgement on National Anthem: Supreme Court orders that people need to stand up when the national anthem as part of “constitutional patriotism” when it is played before screening of a film and people are not obliged to stand up when the national anthem was played as part of a movie.
  • Trademark Rules, 2017– The Trademark Rules, 2002 were replaced by the Trademark Rules, 2017. The new rules call for enforcement of strict timelines for trademark registration by reducing the number of forms and expediting the process as a whole.
  • Jurisdiction of ASCI upheld : Metro Tyres Ltd. v. The Advertising Standards Council of India & Anr: The Delhi High Court held that the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has jurisdiction to adjudicate upon claims of copyright and trademark infringement and passing off. The Court observed that the existence of provisions under the Copyright Act, 1957 and the Trademark Act, 1999 exclusively empowering the district court to adjudicate upon claims of infringement does not operate as an embargo to the ASCI adjudicating upon claims of infringement. The Court grounded its judgment in the desirability of vesting self-regulatory bodies with greater powers in order to enable them to function as efficacious alternative dispute resolution mechanisms.
  • Bombay High Court granted stay on Raveena Tandon starrer Maatr as the producer, Anjum Rizvi, was yet to pay his dues to YT Capital Pvt Ltd. The film was later allowed to be released after its producer paid part of the dues it owed a private finance company.
  • Supreme Court rules that right to privacy is a fundamental right- In the landmark judgement of Justice K.S Puttaswamy (Retd.) V. Union of India and Ors, the Supreme Court unanimously clarified that right to privacy is a fundamental right guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India. As regards its impact on the media and entertainment industry, it would be pertinent to point out that the Supreme Court has held Further the Supreme Court has explicitly held that “Every individual should have a right to be able to exercise control over his/her own life and image as portrayed to the world and to control commercial use of his/her identity. This also means that an individual may be permitted to prevent others from using his image, name and other aspects of his/her personal life and identity for commercial purposes without his/her consent.”.
  • IPAB takes over the functions of Copyright Board.
  • Hoshiar Singh appointed chief of Copyrights office: Senior bureaucrat Hoshiar Singh has been appointed as Registrar of Copyrights.
  • IPRS obtains registration as a copyright society under Section 33 of the Copyright Act, 1957 under the chairmanship of Javed Akhtar: The Indian Performing Rights Society received its official registration as a copyright society on November 28, 2017.  Originally formed in 1969, the society represents a majority of Indian composers, lyricists and music companies. The IPRS has been embroiled in litigations and investigations in the last few years over transparency issues.  Following the Indian Singers Rights Association (ISRA), IPRS is the second copyright society to receive registration under the Copyright Act, 1957 post the 2012 Amendment.
  • Screenwriters Association of India Applies for Registration as a Copyright Society
  • Celebrities must do due diligence before endorsing products: ASCI: Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has developed a set of guidelines to protect consumers’ interest while encouraging celebrities and advertisers to refrain from endorsing misleading advertisements. At a time when the Consumer Affairs Ministry is intending to review the Consumer Protection Act and may have a provision to deal with misleading advertisements featuring celebrities, these guidelines by ASCI could serve as a good reference for advertisers.
  • Warner Bros Studios demanded stay before the Bombay High Court on Paresh Rawal-Starrer Guest in London claiming that the film is being promoted as a sequel to their 2010 comedy, Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge?, whose remake and franchise rights are owned by them. The matter was eventually settled between the parties.
  • ASCI introduces ‘Independent Review Process’, appoints Justice Mudgal as chairman. This procedure facilitates an independent mechanism to review the recommendations made by Consumer Complaints Council (CCC) if either the advertiser or the complainant is dissatisfied with such recommendations.
  • Row over ‘Half Girlfriend’ settled as Bhagat terms it fiction:A dispute between novelist Chetan Bhagat and a royal family of Bihar over alleged depiction of the princely state of Dumraon in poor light and use of objectionable words in his novel “Half Girlfriend” has been settled in a Delhi court after the writer offered an apology saying the work was based on “fiction”.
  • Director Ketan Mehta Drags Kangana To Economic Offence Wing for Hijacking his film on Rani Lakshmibai
  • Finance Act provisions on Tribunals challenged by the Madras Bar Association: The Finance Act, 2017 was styled as money bill and passed by the Lok Sabha. Money Bills are those Bills, which exclusively contain provisions for imposition of taxes and appropriation of moneys out of the Consolidated Fund. Since, the Rajya Sabha can only suggest amendments to money bills, all suggestions made by Rajya Sabha regarding the Bill were junked by the Lok Sabha and the Act came into force on April 1, 2017. Madras High Court has issued notice to the Central government in the petition challenging Sections 156 to 189 of the Finance Act, 2017 and the Tribunal, Appellate and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017.
  • The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea of Congress leader Jairam Ramesh challenging the constitutional validity of some provisions of the Finance Act, 2017 on the ground that these would destroy the independent functioning of the NGT and 18 other tribunals.
  • Neerja’ family accuses producers of criminal conspiracy, moves court: Accusing the producers of the movie ‘Neerja’ of “criminal conspiracy” and going back on their word of sharing 10 percent of the net profit, Neerja Bhanot’s family has moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against Bling Unplugged and Fox Star Studios India Pvt Ltd.
  • Bombay High Court reaffirms game of rummy is not gambling: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court came to the rescue of a businessman (Gajendra Kedia )who was charged with gambling after he was seen playing a game of rummy in his club.
  • FIR registered against AIB members for making phone number of a Jaipur based woman available on its video.
  • Government launched a portal “Grievance against Misleading Advertisement (GAMA): The Department of Consumer Affairs has launched a portal “Grievance against Misleading Advertisement (GAMA)” where a consumer can lodge a complaint against a misleading advertisement.
  • Supreme Court Upholds High Court Verdict on Cricket Broadcasting Rights in India: The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court’s verdict barring Prasar Bharati from sharing with cable operators through Doordarshan (DD) channels the live feed of cricket matches of which private broadcasters ESPN and Star had the exclusive rights.
  • Madras HC bans use of living persons’ pictures on banners and hoardings in Tamil Nadu- In a blanket order, the Madras high court banned use of pictures of living persons on bannersand hoardings, even if due permission is obtained for erecting them. It held that in order to maintain a clean atmosphere in the state and to avoid unnecessary drawings on the walls of buildings/residential places, this court directs the chief secretary to ensure that the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1959 is complied with. If at all any permission is given by the authority concerned for erecting banners, flex boards and signboards, they shall ensure that the photographs/pictures of such persons who are alive shall not be depicted on them.
  • Julie 2- N R Pachisia had filed a case with the Bombay High Court alleging that producer Pahlaj Nihalani and the director of Julie 2 Deepak Shivdasani had infringed on his intellectual property, as only he had the rights to produce a sequel to the film Julie. However, the matter was eventually settled between the parties.
  • Ittefaq – Producers of the Siddhartha Malhotra and Sonakshi Sinha starrer ‘Ittefaq’ agreed to remove all promotional material from all forms of media where an actor is seen smoking after receiving a notice from Delhi’s tobacco department.

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