Finance Committee report slammed as ‘regressive’ by Industry body representing Google, Meta, Apple, Amazon

The Asia Internet Coalition, the industry body representing companies such as Google, Meta, Apple, Amazon criticised and termed the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance’s recommendation to introduce a digital competition law. They also expressed concerns that the digital competition law recommended by the Committee may dampen digital innovation in India.

I&B Ministry pulls up TV channels for ‘distasteful, disturbing & violent content’

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting pulled up private television channels against reporting “incidents of deaths, accidents, violence” including the recent accident of cricketer Rishabh Pant, stating that such content is in violation of the programming code. The Ministry has issued stern warnings to the channels against telecasting such content.

Delhi High Court has reserved its order on plea directing Constituent Authority to censor OTT songs

The Bench headed by Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court reserved its plea seeking direction to constitute a regulatory authority to censor the songs, lyrics and videos which are made available to the public through platforms such as YouTube and OTT platforms. The plea stated that such songs promote consumption of liquor/drugs, demeaning of women, etc.

Pathaan row:

Delhi High Court directs Yash Raj Films to prepare audio description, subtitles for hearing and visually impaired people

The Delhi High Court has directed the Yash Raj Films to prepare audio description and subtitles for the OTT release of its upcoming movie Pathaan. The Court held that this would make the film more accessible to the hearing and visually impaired people. Upon complying with the same, the makers were directed to re-submit the movie to CBFC for recertification.

Seers issues rules for filmmakers – Dharam Censor Board to review films

Prominent seer and Shankaracharya Swami Avimukteshwaranand of Jyotish Mutt has issued guidelines for the entertainment industry and have stated that they shall now watch and censor films, tele serials and web series to ensure that they do not offend any Hindu sentiments. While the Swami will be patron of the board, there shall be nine other prominent Hindu seers as its members.

Delhi High Court: Right to seek Rectification of Register under Section 57 or Section 124 (1)(b)(ii) of Trade Marks Act are independent rights

The single-Judge bench of Justice Hari Shankar has ruled that the right to seek cancellation of a mark and rectification of register are two independent rights and both are available for invocation by an interested party.

The Court made the observations while dealing with a petition filed under Sections 57 and 125 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. The Court further noted that it would be necessary for the Plaintiff to have pleaded in the suit for trademark infringement that the registration of the Respondent’s mark was invalid.

The order of the court dated January 09, 2023 can be accessed here.

Delhi High Court: “SUBERB” is not phonetically similar to “SUBWAY”

While dismissing the prayer for interim injunction, the Delhi High Court has held that Subway LLC cannot claim exclusivity over the word “SUB” in the content of eateries serving submarine sandwiches.

The Court further noted that the word “SUB” is publici juris in terms of eateries. The order has come in the suit filed by Subway LLC against Suberb, alleging deceptive similarity. ‘Subs’, being well-known abbreviation of submarine sandwiches, are part of common knowledge.

The order of the court dated January 12, 2023 can be accessed here.

Delhi High Court: ‘India Gate’ mark can be used for Dalia

The Delhi High Court while refusing interim injunction in favour of KRBL Limited, leading rice manufacturers, allowed the use of the ‘India Gate’ mark for ‘dalia’. The Court held that the Defendants have successfully shown that their use of the ‘India Gate’ mark is from 1990 which is prior to the registration granted to KRBL Limited.

The pictorial depiction of ‘India Gate’ is substantially different in the labels of both the parties. Since, the getup of packaging is substantially different, there can be no possibility of confusion or deception to the public.

The judgement of the court dated January 19, 2023 can be accessed here.

Madras High Court approached against filmmaker Mani Ratnam for distorting history in Ponniyin Selvan – 1

A Chennai based litigant has approached Madras High Court seeking direction against filmmaker Mani Ratnam for allegedly distorting Indian history in the recently released movie Ponniyin Selvan – 1. The petitioner has requested the Ministry of Culture, The Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India and CBFC to take necessary action against the filmmaker.

Orissa High Court: Plagiarism in film business going unpunished

The Orissa High Court has set aside the list of awardees for the ‘coveted’ 31st Odisha State Film Awards, 2019 as two films on the list were found in utter violation of the Odisha State Films Awards Rules.

The single judge bench found the movies to be plagiarised and copied from films of other languages. The petition alleged that since many of the movies that featured in the final award list were remakes of some films made in other languages, and thus, should not have qualified for the nomination itself for lack of originality.

The Judgement of the court dated January 11, 2023 is here.

BBC documentary on PM Modi slammed for bias and colonial mindset

India has slammed the BBC documentary on Prime Minister Modi and the Gujarat riots by holding that the same lacks objectivity and betrays colonial mindset. Although the documentary has not been screened in India, the foreign ministry held that it was a propaganda piece designed to push a particular “discredited” narrative.

After a lot of objections, the documentary was removed from YouTube. The documentary tracked the PM’s journey to power.

Guidelines issued for social media influencers to regulate promotions

The Central Government has issued endorsement guidelines for celebrities and social media influencers. The guidelines make it mandatory for compulsory disclosure of monitory or material benefits of a product or a brand that they are promoting on social media platforms. Failure to comply with the same shall lead to a penalty of Rs. 50 lakhs.

The Indian Army has obtained IP rights for new combat dress

The Indian Army has obtained IP rights for the design and camouflage pattern of its newly introduced ‘Camouflage Pattern Dress.’ The uniform shall be unveiled by the Chief of Army Staff during Army Day on January 15, 2022. The alumni, professors and students from the National Institute of Fashion Technology have designed the uniform.

Delhi High Court asks makers of the movie “Faraaz” to settle dispute with the petitioners

The director and producers of the movie “Faraaz”, which is based on the 2016 Dhaka terror attacks, have been asked by the Delhi High Court to discuss and resolve their disputes with the victims’ mothers. The single judge bench had dismissed the victims’ mothers’ plea to stop the release of the film.

Digital news monetisation – Union Minister promises to address imbalance

The Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, has called upon the Big Tech aggregators to support digital news creators and help the latter with a fair share of the acquired revenue. The minister also stressed that the disbalance between the small creators and Big Tech platforms had affected the digital news industry and the parent print media.

US Copyright Office’s proposal regarding MLC’s policies gain support from 350+ American songwriters and managers

The American songwriters and managers have signed an open letter supporting the US Copyright Office’s proposal which would lead a change to the royalty distribution policies of collecting society, the Mechanical Licensing Collective.

The proposal is related to the termination right under the US Copyright law and the workings of the compulsory licence that covers the mechanical copying of songs in the US. The termination right allows the songwriters to assign terminate the copyright assignment and reclaim their rights after 35 years.

Getty Images targets artificial intelligence firm for ‘copying’ photos

The renowned US firm, Getty Images, has threatened to sue Stability AI, a tech company. Getty has accused Stability AI of illegally copying millions of photos for use in an artificial intelligence (AI) art tool.

Stability AI runs a tool which allows the users to generate mash-up images from a few words of text. However, they use material which it scrapes from the web, often without obtaining due permission.