IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (FEB 9-16)

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GOVERNMENT CALLS FOR A STAKEHOLDER MEETING TO DISCUSS ISSUES PERTAINING TO COPYRIGHT

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) called for a meeting on February 13, 2020 in New Delhi to discuss the stakeholder issues pertaining to copyrights, the provisions under the Copyright Act, 1957 and the rules framed thereunder.

The list of stakeholders included networks and broadcasters, radio broadcasters, online streaming services, music labels, copyright societies and hotel associations.

The meeting witnessed demand of a single copyright society by some stakeholders. The Government has called for written suggestions to be provided by the stakeholders’ post which another meeting would be scheduled by end of March, 2020.

BEARDED CHOKRA CASE: BOMBAY HIGH COURT STAYS DIRECTION TO TAKE DOWN PARACHUTE REVIEW VIDEO SUBJECT TO MODIFICATIONS

Division bench of Bombay High Court stayed the single bench order which had directed vlogger Abhijeet Bhansali to take down the video which Parachute alleged was defamatory and disparaging to their product ‘Parachute coconut oil’. The interim order was passed after the vlogger agreed to modify some content in his video and remove remarks such as oil smelling like rotten coconut, product being made from inferior quality of coconut, replacing the statement ‘It’s not as good as you think’ with ‘It’s not worth the price you pay for’.

The Court also made observations regarding when a statement would constitute defamation. In this regard, the Bench observed that a distinction has to be made between statements of fact and opinions.

When the statement in question is an opinion, the Court explained that no defamation can be made out if it is based on non-defamatory, disclosed facts, regardless of how derogatory the opinion is. “If an expression of an opinion is based on disclosed non-defamatory facts, an action is not supported, no matter how unreasonable or derogatory the opinion is.”

However, the Bench added, “… if the expression of opinion is based on undisclosed or implied facts, support of an action depends on the understanding of the statement. If the recipient reasonably believes the truth of an undisclosed or implied defamatory fact about the subject of the statement, the speaker is liable for making defamatory statement.”

DELHI HIGH COURT ISSUES NOTICE IN PLEA FOR COMPLETE BAN ON TOBACCO ADVERTISEMENTS

A petition by one Mr. Dipesh Jha, was filed in the Delhi High Court for enforcement of the fundamental rights of the workers working in the tobacco brand “Chaini Khaini” and also seeking a complete ban on advertisement of the tobacco product.

The Petitioner has alleged that the said company is advertising ‘Chaini Khaini’ in violation of Article 13 of WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) which bans surrogate advertisement for tobacco products.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Hari Shankar have issued notices to the Central Government, the Delhi Government, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the Health Ministry, among others to file their reply on the next date of hearing. The next date for case is March 11, 2020.

PUNJABI MOVIE ‘SHOOTER’ BANNED IN PUNJAB FOR PROMOTING VIOLENCE

The Punjab State government through a press statement has imposed a ban on the upcoming movie “Shooter” based on the life and crimes of gangster Sukha Kahlwan, saying it promotes violence, heinous crimes, extortion, threat and criminal intimidation. A case has also been registered against the producers of the Film, amongst others for allegedly “promoting violence, heinous crimes, gangsterism, drugs extortion, threat and criminal intimidation.

Reportedly, the producer of the Film, Mr. K.V Singh Dhillon had promised through a letter addressed to SSP Mohali in 2019 that he would discontinue the Film which was originally titled “Sukha Khalwan” as the authorities were of the opinion that the content of the Film may hurt law and order situation. However, he continued the project under a new title with a new name for the lead protagonist.

The Chief Minister has made it clear that his government will not allow any movies, songs, etc that seek to promote crime, violence and gangsterism in the state.

GOA GOVERNMENT TO VET FILM SCRIPTS THAT PORTRAY THE STATE IN A BAD LIGHT.

In light of the portrayal of Goa in Mohit Suri’s recent release ‘Malang’ claimed to have depicted Goa in poor light as a drug haven, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has stated that the State Government will henceforth only permit shooting of movies after a thematic inspection.

The Chief Minister stated that Goa boasts of a good law and order situation, among many other plus points, and therefore it was unfair to portray the state as a destination for drugs.

The Chief Minister also stated that the Entertainment Society of Goa, nodal agency for granting shooting permissions in the State, will check the story and how the State has been portrayed in the Film, before granting the permission. The permission would not be granted if the Film shows the State in a bad light.

MADRAS HIGH COURT ISSUES NOTICE TO MAKERS OF JAYALALITHA’S ALLEGED BIOPIC

The Madras High Court on February 13 issued notice to the makers of the alleged biopic on the life of former chief minister Jayalalitha in an appeal filed by her niece Deepa challenging the single bench order which had refused to stall the film ‘Thalaivi’. The division bench has asked the film’s director AL Vijay and producer Vishnu Vardhan Induri to file their response in two weeks. In her appeal Deepa has claimed that she was shocked to notice that the web series ‘Queen’ on MX Player portrayed her aunt Jayalalitha’s life and showed her in bad light in several scenes thereby affecting her dignity. She claimed that no biopic on her aunt’s life can be made without her approval. Further, to stop any damage to her aunt’s reputation, she wanted the producers of Thalaivi to permit her to watch the movie and allow its screening only after her consent.

KARNATAKA HIGH COURT GRANTS INTERIM STAY ON CCI INVESTIGATION AGAINST AMAZON AND FLIPKART

The Karnataka High Court on Feb 14 granted an interim stay on the investigation ordered by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart for alleged violations of provisions of competition laws. It has given eight weeks for the parties to respond. Amazon had moved the high court seeking a stay on the investigation ordered by the CCI. In its plea, Amazon sought quashing and setting aside of the CCI’s January 13, 2020 probe order and had also prayed the court to provide relief based on “facts and circumstances of the case in the interest of justice.

In January, fair trade regulator CCI had ordered the probe against Flipkart and Amazon for alleged malpractices, including deep discounting and tie-ups with preferred sellers on their platforms.

The order followed a complaint filed by Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh, whose members comprise many traders dealing in smart phones and related accessories. In its petition, Amazon contended that the CCI order had been passed “without application of mind” and would cause irreparable loss/injury to the goodwill/reputation of the company if an investigation is allowed. It also said the order would cause “serious prejudice” against Amazon and its findings are “perverse, arbitrary, untenable” in law.

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