IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (JUNE 24- 30)

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BRAHMAN SAMAJ OF INDIA MOVES SUPREME COURT SEEKING STAY ON RELEASE OF THE FILM ‘ARTICLE 15’

Brahman Samaj of India, filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking cancellation of the certification granted to the film ‘Article 15’ and claiming that the title of the film is a misuse of the freedom of expression guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India and is in violation of Section 3 of the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950. The organization goes on to submit that using Articles of the Constitution as a title for a feature film without prior permission from the Government of India is illegal. The petitioners have also claimed that the film would spread caste hatred which remarkably violates and diminish the true spirit of Article 15 and 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India.

The petition states that if the film is released with this title, it will cause damage to the public perception regarding Article 15 of the Constitution. The petition further states that if the film is released with this title, it may lead to a trend in the film industries by naming title of any feature film in the name of different Articles of the Constitution of India, which lead to a great difference between ‘what is written in the Constitution and what is shown in the film’, and the public perception may lead to public disorder, incitement to offence, among different castes against each other.

The matter was mentioned for urgent hearing on June 27,  just one day before the scheduled release of the film. However, the Vacation Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai refused to hear the matter on an urgent basis. The film was released on June 28.

MADRAS HIGH COURT CLEARS DECKS FOR RELEASE OF NAYANTHARA-STARRER KOLAYUTHIR KAALAM

In a title infringement suit pertaining to the Nayanthara starrer Tamil film ‘Kolayuthir Kaalam’ the Madras High Court on June 28, vacated an interim injunction on releasing the film pursuant to a detailed counter affidavit filed by the producers of the movie stating that no one could claim copyright over the title of a movie.

Justice Krishnan Ramasamy vacated the restraint order granted on June 11 after he was told that the film producers had incurred a loss of about ₹6 crore due to the delay in the release of the movie originally scheduled to hit the screens on June 14.

The counter filed on behalf of Star Polari and Etcetra Entertainment pointed out that the injunction had been granted on a civil suit filed by K. Balaji Kumar, who had obtained the rights of a novel penned by writer Sujatha under the title Kolayuthir Kaalam.

Stating that the case of the plaintiff was only with regard to similarity in title and not that the content of the novel as well as the movie was the same, the respondents pointed out that the Copyright Act would come into play only if they had made a movie based on the novel.

The producers further informed the court that they had announced the movie in 2016 and it was also publicised widely, they said that the interim injunction had been obtained at the eleventh hour just days before they were about to release the movie made at a cost of about ₹12.5 crore.

KERALA HC ALLOWS SCREENING OF A DOCUMENTARY FILM ‘REASON/VIVEK’ IN FILM FESTIVAL BY ANAND PATWARDHAN

Overruling the objections raised by the Centre, the High Court of Kerala has passed an order to allow the screening of ‘Reason/Vivek’ a documentary film by Anand Patwardhan at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival at Thiruvananthapuram. The court observed that the apprehension of it might affecting law and order is not a valid reason to withhold sanction, the court further held that the documentary to be solely screened at the festival only. Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, the organizer of the festival, against the refusal of the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting filed a writ petition in Kerala HC. The Documentary explores the rise of religious fundamentalism in India in the backdrop of murder of leaders and rationalist such as Govind Pansare, Gauri Lankesh, M M Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar etc.

Doctor files complaint against makers of Kabir Singh to stop screening OF THE MOVIE

As per reports, Shahid Kapoor playing the role of an alcoholic doctor who falls for a medical student, has been faced with another complaint by Mumbai based doctor. The complainant has stated that the makers of the film have put the doctors in a bad light. In the film, the male protagonist Kabir who was heartbroken alcoholic doctor who also took drugs to numb his pain. Because of such portrayal the doctors have filed a complained with the Mumbai police and also written a letter to the Central Health Minister, Information and Broadcasting Ministry, State Health Ministry, and the Censor Board of Film Certification to stop the screening of the film ‘Kabir Singh’.

PUBLIC INTEREST LITIGATIONS FILED IN DELHI & PUNJAB HIGH COURT AGAINST RESTRICTION OF SHARING SPORTS FEED OF ‘NATIONAL IMPORTANCE’ 

Two separate public interest litigations have been filed against restricting the shared feed of the “sports events of national interest” to only the terrestrial and DD Free Dish platforms. The matters in the Delhi and Punjab & Haryana High Courts will come up for hearing towards the last week of July.

The petitioner had filed the cases before the start of the ICC World Cup 2019. However, before the matters come up for the first hearing, the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales will be over. The final is slated for July 14.

The petitioners have sought directions to also make the shared feed of the “sports events of national interest” available on Prasar Bharti’s sports channels available on private cable and other DTH platforms.

The Supreme Court of India in 2017 had restricted the transmission of such events, like live broadcast of cricket matches involving Team India, to only the terrestrial and DD Free Dish platforms even as it is mandatory to the media rights holders to share the feed of these events with the national broadcaster.

The petitions argue that restricting the live telecast to the terrestrial and DTH networks of Prasar Bharati defeated the purpose of Section 3 (1) of the Sports Broadcasting Signals (mandatory sharing with Prasar Bharati) Act.

PANDORA FACES COPYRIGHT LAWSUIT FOR DISPLAYING SONG LYRICS: US DISTRICT COURT OF CALIFORNIA

In the case of Wixen Music Publishing, INC., a California Corporation V. Pandora Media INC, a Delaware Corporation, it was discussed that it is not enough to pay a for the rights to broadcast a song but is required to pay a separate license fees to the content owner in order to display the lyrics of the songs. Over the period of ten years the Pandora was continuously showing song’s lyrics without any valid license or authorization. Now in the suit the publisher is asking for $ 150,000 per songs in damages from the courts.

SPOTIFY CLAIMS IT ‘OVERPAID’ SONGWRITERS AND WANTS ITS MONEY BACK

Spotify and music publishers have been in a bit of tussle for months over the increase in the planned royalty rate that required the streaming service provider to now pay more to artists. Spotify now claims that it overpaid the songwriters and publishers last year, and asking for its money back.

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