IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (AUGUST 19-25)

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TWO COMPLAINTS FILED IN DELHI AGAINST DIRECTOR ANURAG KASHYAP IN RELATION TO THE KADA SCENE IN NETFLIX ORIGINAL ‘SACRED GAMES’.

Sacred Games is a Netflix original series directed by Anurag Kashyap based on the novel by the same name.

As per reports, two criminal complaints have been filed in Delhi against Anurag Kashyap, one by BJP legislator, Manjinder Singh Sirsa who has accused Anurag Kashyap for disrespecting the religious sentiments of the Sikh community through the show Sacred Games and the other by Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga.

The ‘Kakaars’ are religious symbols comprising Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (comb), Kara (iron bangle), Kachera (cotton loincloth) and Kirpan (iron dagger), adopted by the Sikhs. In a scene of Sacred Games, a Sikh character, played by Saif Ali Khan, threw his Kara, which is one of the five Kakaars revered by the Sikhs, and hence it disrespects the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.

The complainants have asked for FIRs to be filed under various sections of the IPC and IT Act against Kashyap.

THE NEW CONSULTATION PAPER ON BROADCAST TARRIF BY TRAI IS EXPECTED TO CAUSE TROUBLE IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY.

Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had made a significant change in the telecom regulations in February, 2019 by issuing a new tariff order with a view to make television viewing affordable for the consumers. It gave consumers the power to select the channels according to their taste and preferences and pay only for those channels, thereby making it affordable for the consumers.

On 16th August, 2019, TRAI released a consultation paper to review the framework and effects of implementing the new tariff order. The main issues which TRAI has drawn out in the consultation papers is

  • whether channel bouquets should be allowed;
  • should a cap on discounts within bouquets be reintroduced; and
  • whether the ceiling price of channels in bouquets — Rupees 19 at present needs to be re-examined.

The industry and broadcasting persons, according to the reports, express that with TRAI interfering in the two aforementioned issues which deal with permitting channel bouquets and reintroduction of cap on discounts within bouquets, there would be profound consequences especially on small channels and networks and would cause them existential crisis.

The Broadcasters and Cable operators mention that in case assembling of bouquets is made impermissible, the many small and less popular channels will lose out on the audience leading to a further drop in the revenue.

BOMBAY HIGH COURT DISMISSES PLEA TO APPOINT COURT RECEIVER FOR DIGITAL PRINTS OF 4 MOVIES FOR RECOVERY OF LOAN.

Padma Ispat Pvt. Ltd had filed an application in the Bombay High Court for appointment of court receiver for digital prints of four films- Kedarnath, Rani, Fanney Khan and Batti Gul Meter Chalu which allegedly belong to KriArj Entertainment for recovery of a loan of Rupees 16 crores granted to the latter who failed to repay the same. KriArj Entertainment, the production house, had given post-dated cheques to Padma Ispat which were dishonoured and hence the company filed an application in the Court for recovery of the loan amount.

The objective of appointing a receiver is to oversee the collection of revenue from these films so that KriArj does not delay the repayment of loan any further.

The production house stated that it was a monetary loan and such reliefs could not be sought by the company. KriArj Entertainment had further given digital and theatrical rights of the said films before 2018 to three other parties and hence the company could not initiate any action for recovery of the loan amount from the said films as it had no rights for the same.

The Court dismissed the said application as there was no clause in the loan agreement for attachment of property in case of default between the parties. The Court further held that since the other three parties had got the rights of the said films from the production house before, the holders of these rights could not be held liable for recovery of the loan. The Court observed that even though KriArj was liable to repay the loan with interest to the company, it could not be done at the cost of others.

DELHI HIGH COURT BARS INK MANGO FROM USING ‘JUGGERNAUT’ AS IT IS A TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT.

The New-York based company Ink Mango was directed by the Delhi High Court to refrain from using the word ‘Juggernaut’ including its domain name ‘www.juggernaut.com’ as it led to trademark violation.

The word ‘Juggernaut’ is a registered trademark for Delhi based digital book publishing house by the name of Juggernaut Books Private Limited. The publishing house deals with authors around the world through a web based software ‘www.juggernaut.com’ accessible from various electronic devices such as computers and smartphones. One of the authors associated with the publishing house was approached by Ink Mango to publish his writing on their portal titled Juggernaut. The Author then informed the Juggernaut Books about the same and hence the publishing house filed a suit seeking permanent injunction to restrain Ink Mango Company from using their trademark amongst other reliefs.

It was also contended that the word Juggernaut led to a confusion amongst the readers and other users which was evidenced through the search pages of both the websites. Further it was also argued that Ink Mango Company deliberately targeted users from India as the digital book publishing house catered only to the South Asian readers.

The Delhi High Court thus passed an order that bars the Ink Mango Company from using the word ‘Juggernaut’ citing trademark infringement. The Court further directed Namecheap Inc, the company which registered the website, to block the domain name ‘www.thejuggernaut.com’ till further orders.

BONEY KAPOOR TO FILE FOR A RESTRAINING ORDER AGAINST MAKERS OF THE FILM ‘SRIDEVI BUNGALOW’.

According to reports, Boney Kapoor, is planning to file a plea seeking a restraining order against the use of Late actress Sridevi’s name in the title of the movie ‘Sridevi Bungalow’ starring Priya Prakash Varrier and which is directed by Prasanth Mambully.

The Producer plans to take stricter actions against the makers as they have ignored the earlier legal notice sent by him regarding the same issue of using late actress Sridevi’s name in the title of the movie. The trailer of the said movie shows the character, who is an actress, lying dead in a bathtub which resembles the manner in which late actress Sridevi had died. In the same context, Boney Kapoor had sent the filmmakers of the movie a legal notice which, according to reports, has been ignored and hence the Producer plans to take a stringent legal action for the same.

TELANGANA HIGH COURT ISSUES SHOWCAUSE NOTICE TO GOOGLE INDIA IN HYDERABAD AND BENGALURU.

Ms. Swapna Dillari, a woman residing in Hyderabad has filed a petition in the Telangana High Court alleging Google India for not ensuring deletion of her name and surname from certain porn websites. The Court has issued show cause notice to Google India having offices at Bengaluru and Hyderabad, to explain reasons for non-admission of the Petition by the Court.

SPOTIFY SUED BY MUSIC PUBLISHER FOR COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IN THE USA.

Eight Mile Style, the music publisher for singer Eminem’s song ‘Lose Yourself’ amongst other compositions, has filed a suit against Spotify music streaming app alleging that the app has streamed hundreds of songs by the American rappers without obtaining the license to stream the same which amounts to copyright infringement.

The law suit is filed in the federal court at Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America and The suit relates to 243 songs that Eight Mile co-owns and administers. The publisher has claimed in the law suit that Spotify had about 280 billion unpaid music streams from 2011, resulting in unpaid royalties of as much as $120 million. According to the lawsuit, Spotify has not accounted to Eight Mile or paid Eight Mile for these streams but instead remitted random payments of some sort, which only purport to account for a fraction of those streams.

The law suit further claims that the song ‘Lose Yourself’ had been placed under the Copyright Controlled category which is for the songs whose copyright owners are not known and hence the song could not be licensed. It is alleged that the app, with reasonable efforts, could find the copyright owner of all the songs.

SHARECHAT REMOVES TIKTOK VIDEOS AFTER RECEIVING TAKE DOWN NOTICES FROM TIK TOK

As per reports, Sharechat was forced to take down videos of Tiktok uploaded by its users after the latter sent notices saying it had exclusive rights over this content based on the contractual arrangements between TikT and its users. It also said it has the sole right to initiate and control legal action including takedown requests

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