IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (FEB 3-9)

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LICENSING AGREEMENT BETWEEN SONY PICTURES AND IPRS

Sony Pictures Networks India (SPNI) has entered into a licensing agreement with the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS). Pursuant to this agreement, Sony shall be able to use the IPRS music bank for its digital broadcasts. With this licensing agreement, Sony shall now be able to access the vast music bank from thousands of authors, composers and music publishers who are members of IPRS.

IAMAI SET TO RELEASE A NEW CODE TO REGULATE CONTENT ON OTT PLATFORMS

The Internet and Mobile Association of India is set to release a new content code that shall govern the content on OTT (over-the-top) platform. The code shall also allow for a complaint redressal mechanism through a self-regulatory body called the Digital Content Complaints Council (DCCC). The primary aim is to ensure a mechanism where grievances can be addressed freely, without curbing creative freedom. The move has been supported by online video streaming platforms such as Hotstar, VOOT, SonyLIV and Reliance Jio.

The code supersedes the previous code by IAMAI for online platforms. The new code allows for complaints to be made directly to the DCCC, unlike the old code, where consumers had to first make a complaint to the relevant OTT platform. One of the most significant changes has been the addition of the penalties/punishment clause, which was absent in the previous version.

Certain platforms like Netflix, AltBalaji, Arre, MX Player and Zee5 have however written to the IAMAI recording their dissent to the code, and asking for its recall.

PIL FILED IN THE J&K HIGH COURT AGAINST THE RELEASE OF ‘SHIKARA’- FILM ON THE EXODUS OF KASHMIRI PANDITS

The Jammu & Kashmir High Court has listed for hearing a PIL that demands the review and scrutiny of Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s movie “Shikara”. The movie is based on the mass exodus of the Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in 1990.

The petitioners have prayed a stay on the release of film till it is scrutinised to ensure that there is no inflammatory and communal content in the film. The High Court has listed the matter as ‘Urgent’ and has directed to hear responses from the Respondent as well as comments from the Advocate General.

CHOREOGRAPHER GANESH ACHARYA FILES A COUNTER COMPLAINT AGAINST ACCUSER

Bollywood choreographer Ganesh Acharya has filed a complaint against a woman who accused him of sexual harassment. The woman, who was earlier his assistant choreographer, had filed a complaint last month alleging that Acharya has asked her to watch porn, and that she was assaulted by two women at a club at his behest.

Against the same, Acharya has filed 2 complaints: one for defamation and other for false allegations against the women. The choreographer has claimed that the accusations are baseless, and appropriate action must be taken against it.

COMPLAINTS FILED AGAINST PUNJABI SINGERS PURSUANT TO DIRECTION BY THE PUNJAB AND HARYANA HIGH COURT PROHIBITING GLORIFICATION OF VIOLENCE

A case has been registered against 2 Punjabi singers for promoting gun violence through their song. The complainants have alleged that a song by singers Sidhu Moosewala and Mankirt Aulakh promotes gun culture through the lyrics. The complaint was filed pursuant to a Punjab and Haryana High Court direction to the Director General of Police of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory Chandigarh to ensure that no songs glorifying liquor, drugs, and violence are played even in the live shows.

The same direction was used as a basis of complaint by a teacher in school in Badal village, Punjab against singer Afsana Khan. The complaint alleged the singer sang lines of a song promoting gun culture and violence during an interaction with students of the school.

KUNAL KAMRA V. ARNAB GOSWAMI: KAMRA ISSUES LEGAL NOTICE TO INDIGO

Comedian Kunal Kamra was banned by various airlines pursuant to his viral video questioning journalist Arnab Goswami on-board an IndiGo flight. The move was condemned by Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) Chief Arun Kumar. After the move, even the Pilot-in-Command of the said flight questioned the ban as such a move against an unruly customer may only be taken at the suggestion of the Pilot.

Kamra has now issued a legal notice to IndiGo Airlines to revoke the suspension, and also give him a compensation of 25 lakh on account of mental pain and agony. He has alleged that the Airlines has acted in an arbitrary fashion, and his acts on-board the flight were within his right of freedom of speech and expression. He has alleged that the ban of 6 months, which exceeds the stipulated ban of 3 months given in the Civil Aviation Rules 2017, was against the principles of natural justice.

FILMMAKER MURUGADOSS MOVES MADRAS HC; SEEKS POLICE PROTECTION

Madras High Court has admitted a plea from filmmaker A R Murugadoss seeking police protection. The director of the Rajnikanth starrer movie ‘Darbar’ has approached the court for protection in view of the alleged threats made by the distributors of the film. It has been alleged that the distributors were disappointed due to the loss they suffered, and threatened the director’s life after trespassing into his residence.

Murugadoss stated that he had no role to play in the distribution of the movie, the onus of which lies entirely on the producers of the film. He also stated that he moved the High Court after inaction on part of city police to give him adequate protection. The Court has asked directed the Chennai Police Commissioner to file a reply on February 10.

ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ‘MANIPULATED MEDIA’: TWITTER TIGHTENS RULES

In an effort to curb misleading information over social media, Twitter has stated that it shall start labelling doctored information as “manipulated media”. Such information shall be taken down if it has the potential to disrupt public order.

The platform issued a statement as a blog post, “if we believe that media shared in a tweet have been significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated, we will provide additional context on the tweet. This means we may apply a label to the tweet, show a warning to people before they retweet or like the tweet….”

BRITANNIA FILES A TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT SUIT AGAINST FUTURE GROUP

Britannia has filed a trademark infringement suit against Future Group in the Delhi High court alleging that the latter has used deceptively similar packaging to that of various biscuit brands of former. The case also alleges infringement of Britannia’s mark “Good Day”, as the defendant has used the phrase ‘Good Time’ on one of its products. The plaintiffs have made a case both of trademark infringement and of passing off.

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