IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (MARCH 14-21)

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Bombay High Court refuses to stay release of film ‘Mumbai Saga’

The Bombay High Court on 18th March, 2021 refused to stay release of the film ‘Mumbai Saga’ which is allegedly based on lives of gangsters, Ravi Mallesh Bohra, known in Mumbai’s underworld as DK Rao, late Amar Naik and his brother Ashwin. DK Rao and family members of Amar Naik had moved to the Bombay High Court for the stay of the release of the movie, which is scheduled to be released on March 19. Relying on various newspaper reports they contended that the movie depicts their lives, consequently violating their right to privacy. However, the Bombay High Court has refused to grant stay on the release on the ground that they had moved the court at the eleventh hour.

SVF Entertainment Pvt. Ltd procures injunction against Venus Worldwide in a copyright infringement matter

SVF Entertainment Pvt. Ltd procured an injunction against Venus Worldwide Entertainment Pvt. Ltd from commercial court at Alipore. The defendant had produced a Bengali film “Dada Thakur” which was released on 14.12.2001and similarly another cinematographic film namely “Pratibad” which was released on 13.04.2001. By an agreement dated 04.01.2019 the defendant assigned the entire copyright in about 52 films including the aforementioned films to the Plaintiff. Thereafter the plaintiff granted audio distribution rights to audio songs of the said films to the Defendant , which agreements expired by efflux of time and thereby the Defendant did not have any subsisting right in the said films. The Court took into account the submission advanced by the Plaintiff on its right being established in the two films and found the balance of convenience in its favour. Accordingly, the defendant was restrained from exploiting the songs of the two films till the next date of hearing i.e. 25th March, 2021. (Read order here)

Plea in Madras High Court seeks ban in Dhanush’s song, ‘Pandarathi Puranam’

The song ‘Pandarathi Puranam’ from movie ‘Karnan’ starring Dhanush was released a few days ago. A petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking a ban on the said song. The petitioner has contended that the said song sung by Deva and tuned by Santosh Narayan will generate communal conflict and thus the ban is sought. The petitioner has further contended that the film should only be released after the said song is removed from the movie.

Members of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology question the legality of the newly introduced IT Rules

The Central government last month had announced the Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code applicable on social media platforms. On 15th March, members of parliamentary standing committee questioned its legality before various officials of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. They (officials of ministries) appeared before a parliamentary panel on “intermediary guidelines in the context of examination of the subject review of functioning of Central Board of Film Certification.” The panel was chaired by Mr. Shashi Tharoor, a senior Congress leader. The members of the panel asked various questions to the officials, including, whether these rules are in conformity with the legal framework, why does the regulatory mechanism consist of only bureaucrats, whether before bringing in these rules, the stakeholders were consulted etc.

Bombay High Court rules that Registration of Copyright is not mandatory for seeking protection under the Copyright Act

Justice GS Patel of the Bombay High Court held that “Copyright Act gives a range of rights and privileges to the first owner of copyright without requiring prior registration”.
Further while emphasizing on Section 51 of the Copyright Act, he said that Section 51 talks about infringement of Copyright, however, it does not restrict itself to works that have been registered with the Registrar of Copyright. He further observed that “This section does not, per se, demand prior registration. It does not say so anywhere; and this has to be read with Section 45(1), which says that the owner of copyright may apply for registration. Importantly, copyright infringement lies in the unlicensed use of original works, in which the author has a spectrum of exclusive rights.

Cinematographic (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to be introduced, says government

The government has indicated in the Parliament that it will introduce the Cinematographic (Amendment) Bill, 2021 to bring in steeper fines for piracy. The said bill has been in procedural steps since February 2019 when it was introduced. While doing so the government has cited an industry report which claims that piracy leads to Rs. 2100 crores in annual losses to the media and entertainment industry in our country. Read here

NCPCR asks Netflix to stop streaming the recently released series, Bombay Begums

The apex child rights body, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (‘NCPCR’) has sent a notice to Netflix, in which it asked Netflix to stop streaming the recently released series, Bombay Begums. The child rights body while doing so has contended that the said series portrayed children appropriately, which will pollute young minds and also result in their abuse and exploitation. Further, NCPCR in its notice has said that if Netflix did not respond to the notice, the body will initiate appropriate legal action against it.

Sheryln Chopra gets anticipatory bail in obscenity case 

Sheryln Chopra had approached the Bombay High Court after an FIR was registered against her at the Cyber Cell of Mumbai Police under various sections of the Indecent Representation of Women Act and Information Technology Act. The High Court directed Sherlyn Chopra to be present before the Investigating Officer and cooperate in the investigation and directed the police to report to it on the next date of hearing, which is March 23.

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