Delhi High Court Directs Indian Kanoon to Conceal Acquitted Man’s Name in Rape Case Judgment 

The Delhi High Court has issued a directive to the online portal “Indian Kanoon,” ordering them to conceal the name of a man mentioned in a judgment where he was acquitted of rape charges. The court issued this interim order in response to a plea filed by the 29-year-old man, who sought to have his name masked in the trial court’s 2018 judgment. The man argued that despite being acquitted, he has faced immense hardship due to the presence of the judgment online, as a simple web search reveals his name.

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Bombay High Court Denies Urgent Relief to Chhota Rajan in ‘Scoop’ Series Dispute, Allows Amendment of Intellectual Property Suit 

The Bombay High Court, on Friday, rejected the request for immediate relief from incarcerated gangster Rajendra Sadashiv Nikalje, also known as Chhota Rajan. Rajan had sought a permanent injunction to prevent the release of the Netflix series ‘Scoop’. However, the court did grant permission to amend the commercial intellectual property suit filed by Rajan, allowing him to include the challenge against the unauthorized use of his photograph in the TV series. Rajan argued that using his photograph without his permission violated his personality rights and constituted a copyright infringement.

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Kerala High Court stays seizure of materials in Kantara plagiarism case 

The Kerala High Court has issued a stay on the order to seize agreements and contracts related to the song “Varaharoopam” from the movie “Kantara.” The order was passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate in response to a complaint filed by Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd. The petitioners, the producer and music director of “Kantara,” argued that the matter is currently sub-judice and should be treated as a civil dispute rather than a criminal offense. They also contended that the Magistrate’s order was based on specific bail conditions that were later stayed by the Supreme Court. The stay puts a halt to the seizure of materials pending further legal proceedings in the plagiarism case.

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Karnataka High Court: Civil dispute does not halt criminal proceedings under Copyright Act 

The Karnataka High Court has ruled that a civil dispute between parties does not automatically halt criminal proceedings under the Copyright Act. The court observed that the Act provides for both civil remedies and criminal prosecutions, as the nature and objectives of these proceedings differ. While civil proceedings aim to prevent, remedy, or compensate for copyright infringement, criminal proceedings primarily serve a punitive purpose. The court emphasized that the statutory scheme enacted by Parliament supports the continuation of criminal proceedings, even if a civil dispute is ongoing. It stated that the mere existence of a civil dispute does not serve as grounds to halt criminal proceedings under the Copyright Act.

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Delhi High Court restrains rogue websites from streaming “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” and “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse”

The Delhi High Court has granted interim relief to Sony Pictures Animation Inc. by restraining multiple rogue websites from posting and streaming the upcoming films “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse” and “Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse.” The decision was made in response to a suit filed by Sony Pictures Animation, seeking a permanent injunction against over 100 rogue websites involved in posting and streaming the films without authorization. The court observed that the plaintiff’s copyrights in the films were being infringed, justifying the injunction. The court also instructed the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) to issue a notification to internet and telecom service providers, mandating the blocking of access to these websites, as well as associated mirror/redirect/alphanumeric websites.

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“No Unfettered Right To Freedom Of Expression”: Allahabad HC Denies Relief to Man Accused of Abusing Goddess Durga on WhatsApp 

The Allahabad High Court recently emphasized that the right to freedom of expression is not an unrestricted privilege and carries certain responsibilities and obligations. It clarified that this right does not grant individuals the freedom to speak without accountability nor does it provide an unfettered license to use language in any manner. Justice Manju Rani Chauhan, presiding over the case, made these observations while dismissing a petition to quash a Chargesheet filed against Dr. Shiv Sidharth. The chargesheet accused him of posting an offensive message on WhatsApp, containing derogatory remarks about Goddess Durga, which deeply hurt the religious sentiments of Hindus. The court cited Sections 295A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 67 of the Information Technology Act, 2008 as the basis for the accusations against the accused. Regarding Section 295A IPC, the Court noted that “It penalizes only those acts of insults to or those varieties of attempts to insult the religion or religious belief of a class of citizens which are perpetrated with the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of that class of citizens. Insults to religion offered unwittingly or carelessly or without any deliberate or malicious intention to outrage the religious feelings of that class do not come within the Section.”

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Calcutta High Court Rules Being Tagged in Social Media Comments Doesn’t Impose Liability 

In a case involving allegations of spreading communal hatred and violence through comments on Facebook, the Calcutta High Court held that being tagged in comments on social media by another person does not automatically impose any liability or responsibility on the person being tagged. Justice Ananya Bandyopadhyay, sitting as a single judge, observed that there was no substantial evidence to suggest that the petitioner, who was tagged in the disputed Facebook post by a co-accused, had made any inflammatory comments to incite religious hatred among different communities. The court further noted that the “It is of imprudence to subject any person to face trial in a criminal case based on mere assumptions and suspicious in absence of criminal intent or ulterior motive for accomplishing any wrongful act. Therefore to allow the petitioner to face trial will result into abuse of the process of law.

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Netflix, Disney, and Amazon Contemplate Challenging India’s Tobacco Rules for Streaming 

Reports suggest that streaming giants Netflix, Amazon, and Disney are considering strategies to challenge India’s new tobacco warning rules. The introduction of these rules has raised concerns that streaming platforms will be required to edit countless hours of existing web content. Recently, the Health Ministry directed streaming platforms to include static health warnings during smoking scenes within three months. Additionally, the Centre mandated at least 50 seconds of anti-tobacco disclaimers, including audio-visual content, at the beginning and middle of each program. In response, executives from the three global streaming companies and India’s Viacom18 reportedly held a closed-door meeting on Friday. Sources indicate that the executives discussed potential legal avenues to argue that other ministries, such as IT and information & broadcasting, hold authority over streaming giants.

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