Delhi High Court restrains Goldmines Telefilms from uploading songs owned by T-Series in copyright infringement suit

The Delhi High Court has ordered Goldmines Telefilms not to upload music from 14 Hindi films to YouTube after T-Series asserted copyright infringement in its complaint. T-Series claimed that it had acquired and owns prior assignment deeds in respect of audio-visual works, including literary, artistic, dramatic, and musical works, as well as the cinematograph films for the songs, and that Goldmines Telefilms lacks the rights to authorize the uploading of these songs from the suit films to YouTube.

The Court observed that “Given the nature of the disputes raised, the defendant shall not upload any additional audio or audio-visual works from the suit films, other than those already uploaded on YouTube, until the next date of hearing.”

Read order here.

Delhi High Court orders the government to block 22 ‘rogue websites’ streaming cricket matches

The Delhi High Court recently ordered the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY) and the Department of Technology (DoT) to shut down 22 ‘rogue websites’ that were illegally streaming various television stations, as well as cricket events, France Ligue, and LaLiga. The Court further directed the Domain Name Registrars to provide IP addresses and other related information of the said websites.

Read order here.

President grants assent to Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023

The Rajya Sabha passed the bill unanimously on August 9, while the Lok Sabha passed it by voice vote on August 7 despite objections from opposition leaders. After being passed by both houses of parliament, the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, granted assent to the Digital Personal Data Protection Bill, 2023 (DPDP Bill). The Bill intends to manage digital personal data by balancing the right of individuals to protect their data with the requirement to legitimately process such data for relevant purposes.

Read Act here.

Supreme Court dismisses PILs seeking to make guidelines to regulate TV news channels

The Supreme Court refused to hear two petitions seeking rules for the regulation of television news networks as well as an independent board or media tribunal for grievance redressal connected to content on such channels.

The plea claimed that the Union Ministry for Information and Broadcasting had totally failed in the discharge of its duties and in the enforcement of the Programme Code to which television channels are expected to adhere.

The petitioners submitted that self-regulation of such channels cannot be the answer.

A Bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Sanjay Karol said that viewers were free to not watch such channels, and that the freedom of speech and expression of those in the industry would have be to kept in mind.

Read order here.

Karnataka High Court stays order of the Single Judge imposing Rs. 50 lakhs cost on X Corp (formerly Twitter)

The Karnataka high court on August 10 suspended a single-judge bench’s judgment imposing a Rs 50 lakh fine on X Corp (previously Twitter) for allegedly failing to comply with IT ministry regulations.

An earlier court ruling issued by a single-judge stated that Twitter failed to comply with the IT ministry’s demands for over a year and then filed an appeal with the court. The orders sought the blocking of 1,474 Twitter accounts, 175 messages, 256 URLs, and one hashtag. The high court also observed on 10th August that Twitter did nothing about the directions until the government sought a fine and then reached the high court.

Google, Universal Music in talks for deal on AI ‘deepfakes’

The Financial Times recently reported that Google and Universal Music are in talks to license artists’ voices and melodies for artificial intelligence-generated songs, citing four people familiar with the situation. The purpose of the talks is to build a mechanism enabling fans to produce music legally and pay the owners of the copyrights for them, according to the article, adding that artists would have the option to opt out of the process.

OTT content in line with the IT Rules: Industry lobbying groups tell MIB

Two of India’s biggest over-the-top (OTT) industry lobbying groups have informed the government that their OTT platforms ensure compliance with IT Rules before the content is uploaded. In separate but identical letters to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB), the Indian Digital Media Industry Foundation (IDMIF) and the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) stated that OTT platforms have agreed to go through a thorough process to ensure that the content they produce is in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the IT Rules 2021.

Additional updates by Anushree Rauta:

Delhi High Court rules that Google is not entitled to the safe harbour protection under the Information Technology Act, 2000, as well as from the liability of trademark infringement where it uses a trademark as a keyword in its Ads Programme.

The Delhi High Court in the case of Google LLC v DRS Logistics (P) Ltd & Ors  has held that Google’s use of trademarks as keywords for its ‘Ads Programme’ amounts to ‘use’ of trademarks under the Trademarks Act and that the benefit of safe harbour available to an intermediary would not be available to Google if such keywords infringes on the concerned trademark.

A division bench of Justices Vibhu Bakhru and Amit Mahajan noted that the Ads Programme is a commercial venture by Google.Therefore, the use of a trademark as a keyword for the display of advertisements for goods or services amounts to the use of the trademark in advertising within the meaning of Section 29(6) of the Trademarks Act.

The Court, however, added that the use of these trademarks as keywords would not amount to infringement if there is no confusion, dilution, or compromise of the trademark.

Read order here.

Google informs Madras High Court that it will not delist Matrimony.com and other apps from Playstore till August 18, 2023

In an appeal filed by certain applications like Matrimony.com and others challenging Google’s new billing system, Google India told the Madras High Court that it will not remove or delist such apps till August 18.

On August 8, Justice S Sounthar of the Madras High Court had dismissed 14 out of 16 petitions filed by several startup companies challenging Google’s new user choice billing system.

While dismissing the batch of 14 petitions, Justice Sounthar had said that the matter fell within the jurisdiction of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and that the remedy available under the Competition Act was much more comprehensive than that available before a civil court.

Video clips of SRK’s Jawan leaked, FIR filed

The producers of SRK’s Jawan have filed an FIR in which they allege that the film’s copyright was violated as a result of several video clips of the film having been stolen and shared on the microblogging site X, previously known as Twitter.  The five Twitter handles that shared the clips have been identified, and legal notices have been sent to them as well.