IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (APRIL 29-MAY 5)

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IPRS FILES AN INTERVENTION APPLICATION AND RECALL PETITION BEFORE IPAB IN THE SECTION 31D MATTER FILED BY RADIONEXT WEBCASTING PRIVATE LIMITED

IPRS has filed an intervention application seeking to intervene in the Section 31D application filed by Radionext Webcasting Private Limited as well as a recall petition asking the IPAB to recall the order dated November 1, 2018.

The IPAB on November 1, 2018 had issued a notice in the Section 31 D application filed by Radio Next Webcasting Pvt. Ltd. The order referred to the Delhi High Court order of September 27, 2018 wherein the Delhi High Court in the matter of Radio Next Webcasting Pvt. Ltd vs Union of India had held that the vacancy in the IPAB with respect to a member technical (copyright) does not in any manner impinge upon the jurisdiction of the Appellate Board as constituted under Section 83 of the Trademark Act. Accordingly, the IPAB is now functional and is also required to exercise the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on it by or under the Copyright Act. The High Court had accordingly directed that petitioner’s application be placed before the IPAB and IPAB examine it in accordance with law.

The IPAB had further passed an order on February 8, 2019 recording that the interventions filed by Super Cassettes Industries Limited (T Series) and Zee Music in this matter. The order also mentioned the oral intervention filed by PPL. The IPAB had directed that public notice be published to inform all concerned that in view of Section 31D of the Copyright Act read with Rule 31 of the Copyright Rules and upon an application filed by Radionext Webcasting Pvt. Ltd,IPAB is required to fix royalties for communication to public of sound recordings under Section 31D for internet broadcasting, thereby calling suggestions of all interested persons within 30 days with adequate evidence as to the rate of royalties to be fixed including different rates for different works and different formats. The matter is listed on August 6, 2019 for hearing.

MADRAS HIGH COURT RESTRAINS SONY MUSIC FROM EXPLOITING SONGS OF 17 TAMIL FILMS IN A COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT CLAIM

As per reports, the Madras High Court has restrained Sony Music Entertainment India Pvt Limited from exploiting the sound recordings in digital and other electronic platforms of songs of 17 Tamil feature films, including Villan, Vaali, Vanjinathan and Citizen. Justice M Sundar granted the injunction while passing an interim order on an application arising out of civil suit filed by S  Khaja Mohideen, proprietor of city-based Bayshore Records.

The Plaintiff’s claim pertained to acquiring the copyright in the songs of the said 17 films prior to Sony Music directly from the producers of the film. While so, Sony Music exploited the digital rights through Wynk Music, Gaana, Think Music and YouTube. He further claimed that despite the cease and desist notice issued by the Plaintiff, Sony Music continued to exploit the said songs. Hence the copyright infringement suit was filed by the Plaintiff seeking permanent injunction restraining Sony Music and others from infringing on his copyrights. The court found the prima facie case to be established and balance of convenience in favour of the Plaintiff.

TIPS INDUSTRIES LIMITED vs WYNK LTD- BOMBAY HIGH COURT

As per information received, the dispute between Tips Industries Limited and Wynk before the Bombay High Court has been disposed of. The issue pertains to Wynk taking refuge of Section 31D of the Copyright Act and denying to pay license fees as demanded by Tips for exploiting Tips’ content on their platform . The status of the matter is shown as disposed of on the Bombay High Court website and the order copy is awaited.

ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT ISSUES NOTICE TO CBFC & MAKERS OF THE FILM ‘RAM KI JANMABHOOMI’

The Allahabad High Court has issued a notice to both the CBFC and the filmmakers of the film ‘ Ram Ki Janmabhoomi ‘ acting on a petition filed to stop its release. The bench comprising Justice S K Gupta and Justice Pankaj Bhatia passed the order in a petition filed by one Husaina Akhtar. The notices were served to the Chairman and CEO of the Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) as well as the writer, producer and director of the film based on the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid issue.

Quoting dialogues and describing scenes, Akhtar contended in the petition that the film was highly provocative and inflammatory. Therefore, it was detrimental to the maintenance of communal harmony and likely to affect public order, safety and tranquillity while endangering the secular fabric of the society. It is contended that screening and exhibition of the movie would disturb the social harmony and peace prevailing between the two communities, the petition said.

The CBFC should not have granted ‘U/A’ Certificate to the film as its theme offends the sentiments of Muslims and their right to profess and practice religion under Article 25 of the Constitution of India, it added. The petition further claimed that the film defames and maligns the Muslim culture and its religious practices. The bench directed the state government to file its reply within six weeks.

The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed a similar petition seeking stay on the release of the film in a petition filed by Prince Yakub Tucy, who claims to be a descendant of the last Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar, and who had claimed that the movie would give rise to communal tensions and de-rail the delicate mediation attempt. The Apex court had held that the release of a movie on Ram Mandir will not affect the Ayodhya mediation process in Faizabad.

MATRIMONY.COM OBTAINS INTERIM INJUNCTION IN DOMAINS CASE

Matrimony.com Limited has been granted an interim injunction from the Madras High Court against competitor Kalyan Matrimony. The case concerns an infringement of Matrimony.com’s trademarks. Kaylan Matrimony is alleged to have infringed multiple trademarks, including Tamil Matrimony, Telugu Matrimony and Kerala Matrimony. The dispute arose around SEO and Google AdWords practices.

Matrimony.com had earlier sent a legal notice alleging infringement, which was replied to in detail setting forth the facts. It appears that despite that Matrimony.com have chosen to file the present proceedings and take an interim injunction. The same shall be defended by Kalyan Matrimony, the spokesperson said.

INOX FOLLOWS PVR FILES COMPLAINT WITH SEBI AGAINST RONNIE SCREWVALA

Inox has written to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), saying the statements made by Ronnie Screwvala about the virtual print fee (VPF) i.e. a charge levied by film exhibitors, were false and misleading. Inox is the second firm after PVR in a month to write to the markets regulator on the issue.

Inox also claimed in its letter that brokerage firm Emkay Global had flouted the Research Analysts Regulation that prohibits analysts from providing unreliable, misleading and unsubstantiated advice to investors. The complaint also mentions a conference call about the film distribution and exhibition industry, organised by Emkay Global on April 11, where Screwvala was invited to speak.

GUJARAT: CONGRESS SEEKS FIR AGAINST PARESH RAWAL, MOVES COURT

The Surat unit of Congress approached the district court seeking direction from the police to register a complaint for alleged hate speech against actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal.

The petition by advocate Feroz Pathan, who is the secretary of the Surat City Congress Committee and the convenor of the legal cell in the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee, said Rawal called Congress leaders and workers “impotent, foolish, chor na petna (born of thieves), weak” and so on in a campaign address on April 20 at Yogi Chowk in Surat area of Punagam.

Rawal allegedly also told the crowd to hurl shoes at those talking about Rs 15 lakh, presumably referring to the unfulfilled promise of Prime Minister Modi to bring back stashed black money abroad and deposit Rs 15 lakh into the account of every citizen.

Pathan said the remarks made by Rawal were likely to create hate among parties and their supporters. “After verifying the video clippings, the party also complained to the Election Commission,” Pathan said.

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