Yash Raj Films copyright infringement case: Delhi High Court issues summons to US platform “Triller”

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued summons to American video sharing and social networking platform Triller on a copyright infringement suit filed by  YRF restraining the platform from infringing its copyright in sound recordings, musical works and literary works. YRF alleged that the defendant had illegally uploaded, stored, reproduced, made copies, created new works embodying the Plaintiff’s works, without obtaining any valid license or authorisation.

The platform has sought relief under the ‘safe-harbour’ protection guaranteed to intermediaries under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (a USA enactment, which also finds a place in Indian law in the form of Information Technology Act, 2000) to continue its infringing activity to which the Counsels  representing YRF said that the impugned platforms contained various features, such as the audio extraction feature, which were beyond the limited role of an intermediary specified under Section 79 (2)(a) of the IT Act, thereby disentitling Triller from the ’safe-harbour’ protection guaranteed to intermediaries under the IT Act.

The next date of hearing in the matter is February 02, 2023.

Read order here.

Uphaar fire tragedy – Delhi HC declines to stay web series ‘Trial by Fire’

The Delhi High Court on Thursday declined, to stay the release of web series ‘Trial by Fire’  scheduled for release on Netflix on January 13, 2023. The plea was filed by Sushil Ansal, one of the convicts in the 1997 Uphar Cinema Fire Case on which the web series is based, seeking permanent and mandatory injunction against the series and restraint of further publication and circulation of the book titled “Trail By Fire- The tragic tale of the Uphaar Tragedy”. The Court observed “Undisputedly the work authored by defendants 4 and 5 was published way back in 2016. This is clearly evident from the various newspaper articles and media reports which have been placed for the perusal of the Court. The plaintiff chose, for reasons best known to him, not to initiate any injunctive action in respect of the said work when it came to be originally published on 19 September 2016. A slothful or sluggish plaintiff seeking a seeking an injunction of the nature which is sought in these proceedings cannot be allowed to claim such reliefs”

Link to order: here

PIL against Adipusrush Movie- Allahabad Court issues notice to CBFC seeking stay on release

The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court has issued a notice to the Censor Board to file its reply on a PIL filed against upcoming mega-starer ‘Adipurush” which is an Indian mythological film based on the epic Ramayana. The movie’s release was scheduled for January 12, 2023, however, after its trailer’s release on  2 October 2022 and following the heavy criticism, it has been postponed for 6 months.

The PIL states, “The teaser or promo of the film is so atrocious, wicked and diabolical that it along with the pursuant movie which is to be released on 12 January 2023 should be out rightly banned in its present form in the interest of religious feelings, sentiments and aspirations of Hindus.”  The petition also claimes that the film’s producers released the promo of the movie without obtaining a certificate from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC).

The bench has fixed February 21 as the next date of the hearing.

MIB issued an advisory to Private Channels for adherence to Programme Code under the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting observed that over the last few months, there were several television channels including mainstream channels that reported accidents, death, and violence, including violence against women, children and the elderly. According to the Ministry, these representations had compromised on ‘good taste and decency’.

It has strongly advised all private television channels to attune their systems and practices of reporting incidents of crime, accidents and violence, including death in conformity with the Programme Code.

Link to the advisory- here

TRAI releases consultation paper to examine issues of license fees, bank guarantees in DTH sector

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper on issues related to licence fee and policy matters related to Direct-to-Home (DTH) industry.

The paper discuses exclusion of non-licenced activities from the definition of gross revenues with respect to the DTH licence fee. Additionally, it also looks at issues related to percentage and amount of bank guarantees payable, as well as the issue of level playing field for all distribution platform operators in terms of an uniform licence fee.

Comments from stakeholders are invited till 13 February 2023 and counter-comments may be submitted by 27 February 2023.

Link to the paper: here

I&B Industry bans 6 YouTube channels for spreading fake news

Government of India in its latest attempt to curb the spread of fake news on social media platforms has banned 6 Youtube channels.

In a series of tweets published by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) names of these channels and the fake news being spread by them were listed. The names of these channels are Nation TV, Sarokar Bharat, Nation 24, Samvad Samachar, Swarnim Bharat, and Sambad TV. All the channels were found to be operating as part of a coordinated disinformation network and had nearly 20 lakh subscribers.

PVR-Inox Merger gets approval from NCLT, Mumbai

PVR-Inox merger has been approved by the National Company Law Tribunal. The NCLT judge has approved the scheme of merger in a verbal order. A written order is likely to be passed in the next 15-20 days. On March 27 last year, PVR and Inox Leisure announced their merger, which has already been approved by their respective shareholders, creditors.

The branding of existing screens will continue as INOX and PVR, respectively and only new theatres opened post the merger will be branded as PVR-INOX. As per reports, the combined entity would have 3,000 to 4,000 screens in five years.

Goddess Kali poster: Filmmaker Leena Manimekalai moves SC to quash FIRs

Filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, who had posted an allegedly derogatory poster, which shows Goddess Kali smoking a cigarette, for promoting her documentary ‘Kaali’, has moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash the FIRs registered against her in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Manimekala’s case was mentioned on Friday before a CJI Chandrachud led bench which ordered to hear the matter on January 20.  The Petitioner has submitted before Court that her attempt as a creative film maker was to depict “the goddess as radically inclusive and kind” in her short performance documentary where she performed as the goddess Kaali”. The petitioner contends that the multiple FIRS amount to harassment and infringement of her constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right to freedom of expression.

NCLAT refuses to stay CCI’s order of Rs 936 crore penalty on Google

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Wednesday has declined to provide interim relief to Google on a second penalty of `936.44 crore that was imposed on it by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for abusing its dominant position with respect to Play Store policies. The Court also directed Google to deposit 10% of the penalty before the registry in the next four weeks and issued notices to the CCI and others.

On January 4, NCLAT had declined to provide relief to Google on another penalty of Rs1,338 crore that was imposed by the CCI as well as a cease and desist direction for abuse of dominant position of its Android mobile operating system. Google has since filed an appeal in the Supreme Court on the matter which will be heard tomorrow.

Schezwan Chutney merely descriptive term- Delhi High Court rejects plea for interim injunction for infringement claim of Ching’s “Schezwan Chutney”

The Delhi High Court has refused to grant an interim order restraining a Radiant Indus Chem Pvt Ltd from using Chings Secret ‘Schezwan Chutney’ trademark, in the latter’s trademark infringement lawsuit.

A single judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla in its January 11 decision observed that the plaintiff’s–Capital Food Private Ltd, trademark ‘Schezwan Chutney’ was only a “descriptive” term and not something unique and coined by the plaintiff. The HC said that if protection is granted to “the plaintiff’s mark then similar protection should be granted to ‘Tamarind Chutney’ or ‘Tomato Chutney’, as they are also combinations of words in English and Hindi”. The Court however said that the said that the interim order granted to the plaintiff on September 16, 2020, restraining the defendant, from similar packaging for its chutney product as used by the plaintiff “shall operate during the pendency of the present suit”.