IPRMENTLAW WEEKLY HIGHLIGHTS (JUNE 7-13)

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(These highlights have been contributed by Harshil Dureja and Lokesh Vyas)

I&B MINISTRY PROHIBITS BROADCAST OF HOPE TV FOR 30 DAYS OVER UNAUTHORIZED LOGO AND NON-PAYMENT OF ANNUAL FEE

Hope TV, a Christian lifestyle channel is now prohibited to operate for a period of 30 days from June 9, 2021, to July 8, 2021, under the extant policy guidelines for uplinking and downlinking of private TV satellite channels in India. The channel’s distributor Noida Software Technology Part Limited (NSTPL) had failed to deposit the annual permit fee for downlinking of the channel and did not reply to the show cause notice issued last year for using the unauthorized logo ”Hope Channel India” for the channel instead of ”Hope Channel’’. The ministry also urged the company to deposit an annual permit fee of Rs 15 lakh from December 22, 2020 to December 21, 2021 and also directed the company to submit a copy of a valid distribution partner agreement with Adventist Television Network, USA for downlinking and distribution of the channel for viewing in India but failed to get any response yet.

MAINSTREAM MEDIA GETS NO EXEMPTIONS FROM NEW IT RULES

The National Broadcasters Association (NBA) had recently written to the ministry, urging it to “exempt and exclude” the traditional television news media and its extended presence on digital news platforms from the ambit of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules 2021, saying they are already sufficiently regulated by various statutes, laws, guidelines, codes and regulations. The government however refused to exempt the digital news content of mainstream television channels and print media from the ambit of the IT Rules, 2021 and asked them to comply with the provisions of the digital media rules immediately. Though the government did recognise that entities having traditional TV and print media are already registered with the government either under the Press and Registration Books Act or the Uplinking and Downlinking Guidelines of 2011.

 

MADRAS HC ASKS CENTRE TO RESPOND TO A WRIT PETITION FILED BY TM KRISHNA AGAINST THE IT RULES.

Carnatic Musician T.M. Krishna recently moved to Madras HC challenging constitutionality of latest IT Rules. In his affidavit, Krishna has said that the Code of Ethics to be followed by publishers of news and current affairs content and online curated content establish “vague responsibilities on producers of online curated content that will only inevitably lead to a chilling of the creative process”. Relying on the Supreme Court’s judgement in K.S Puttuswamy’s case, he said the judgement acknowledged the fact that privacy for an artist, “and there is an artist in every human being,” was solitude, not in the sense where one shut themselves from all contact but in the sense of a relationship between the artist and creative soul. The Madras High Court has asked the Centre to respond within three weeks.

JUSTICE ARJAN KUMAR SIKRI WILL CHAIR THE GRIEVANCE REDRESSAL BOARD DIGITAL PUBLISHER CONTENT GRIEVANCES COUNCIL (DPCGC)

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) named former supreme court justice Arjan Kumar Sikri as chairman of the Grievance Redressal Board (GRB), formed as a part of the Digital Publisher Content Grievances Council (DPCGC). The DPCGC currently has 14 publishers of online curated content as members, which include Amazon Prime Video, Alt Balaji, Apple, BookMyShow Stream, Eros Now, Firework TV, Hoichoi, Hungama, Lionsgate Play, MX Player, Netflix, Reeldrama, Shemaroo and Ullu. The Grievance Redressal Board (GRB) will function as an independent body and act as the second-tier within the three-tier grievance redressal mechanism as envisioned by the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.

BOMBAY HIGH COURT GRANTS PROTECTION TO FILM PRODUCER KAMAL JAIN FROM ARREST, CO-ACCUSED WITH KANGANA RANAUT IN ‘DIDDA’ COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT CASE

The Bombay HC has directed police to not arrest film producer Kamal Jain, who was booked along with actor Kangana Ranaut in a cheating and copyright infringement case, till July 1. An FIR was filed by Ashish Kaul, the author of the book ‘Didda: Warrior Queen of Kashmir’ for copyright infringement against Kamal Jain, Kangana and her siblings Rangoli Chandel and Akshat Ranaut after Kangana tweeted about joining hands once again with Kamal Jain to bring back the franchise after the 2019 film Manikarnika: The Queen of Jhansi. The sequel will reportedly tell the story of Didda, a queen of Kashmir who despite being struck by polio in one leg was a great warrior. Ashish Kaul, in his complaint before the magistrate, claimed he had exclusive copyrights to the life story of Didda.

PPL MOVES DELHI HIGH COURT AGAINST GOVERNMENT ORDER THAT REJECTED ITS RE- REGISTRATION APPLICATION 

Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) moved Delhi High Court against an order passed by the Government, rejecting PPL’s application for re-registration as a copyright society under Rule 47 of the Copyright Rules, 2013. The government claimed that the application was belated and therefore PPL could not be granted re- registration. However, the Court passed an ad interim order directing the application to be considered on its own merits. The court also clarified that the government shall not take any action inconsistent with the present position during its pendency.

You can read the order here and you can read our post for detailed overview of this case here.

KERALA AND KARNATAKA TUSSLE OVER THE ‘KSRTC’ MARK

A seven-year IP battle between Kerala and Karnataka has finally come to an end where the legal right to the KSRTC trademark. Kerala has got the right to use the acronym KSRTC for its road transport corporations which was earlier used by both Kerala and Karnataka. As per the Kerala government, the Central Trade Marks Registry has announced its final verdict and given it the right to use the acronym KSRTC, its emblem and even the term ‘Aana Vandi’, a nickname that means elephant vehicle.

NO STAY ON THE MOVIE BASED ON SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT

The Delhi High Court in Krishna Kishore Singh v. Sarla A Saraogi & Ors refused to order an interim injunction restraining the release of a film allegedly based on Sushant Singh Rajput’s life on grounds of publicity rights. However, the defendants and the makers of the proposed biopics – are directed to submit all details of royalty, licensing, profits made from the movies being submitted to the Joint Registrar. Film is alleged to  influence the proceedings in the case. (Here)

SONY PICTURES NETWORK SEEKS COPYRIGHT PROTECTION

The Delhi High Court in Sony Pictures Network India v. www.sportsala.tv & Ors restrained 50 Defendants from hosting, streamlining, reproducing, distributing, making available to the public and/or communicating to the public or facilitating the same on their websites through the internet in any manner whatsoever, any cinematograph work, content, programme and show or event broadcasted on the plaintiffs’ channels (i.e. Sony Pictures Network India) in which they have copyright.

DELHI HIGH COURT SETS TEMPLATE DIRECTIONS FOR INTERMEDIARIES

The Delhi High Court issued template guidelines while deliberating on two major questions namely “when a party seeks relief from the Court in order to remove the offending content from the world-wide-web, what directions should the Court pass to make its order implementable and effective; and to which parties such order to be issued;” and What steps should the law enforcement agencies take so that the offending content does not resurface on the world-wide-web. Here (Read our post here)

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