Plea in Bombay High Court for a decision on legalization of casinos in Maharashtra

A production company has filed a plea in the Bombay High Court, urging the State government to decide on legalization of casinos in Maharashtra. The plea points out that the state had passed the Maharashtra Casinos (Control and Tax) Act, 1976 which provides for licensing of casinos and taxation of participants bets. However, the act was never notified or implemented.

Information Technology Act may be amended to add rules for GenAI models

The Central government is likely to amend the Information Technology Rules, 2021 to incorporate the rules for regulating artificial intelligence companies and generative AI models. The amendment to make it mandatory for the platforms using artificially intelligent algorithms to train and ensure that their machines are free from bias.

The amendment may also introduce rules for deepfake, synthetic content and explicit instructions for platforms on loan apps. The government to consult experts on other parameters to eliminate bias.

Delhi High Court: E-commerce platforms must be diligent in protecting rights of others

The Delhi High Court recently held that e-commerce platforms must act and diligently protect the intellectual property rights of others and cannot claim ‘safe harbour’ as an intermediary if the platforms are used to abet counterfeiting. The platforms are commercial ventures and cannot facilitate protocol by which infringers and counterfeiters are given an avenue to infringe and counterfeit.

The observation comes in light of an interim injunction passed against IndiaMART InterMESH Limited (IndiaMart) from providing any registered trademark of PUMA in respect of goods as search option in its drop-down menu presented to prospective sellers. The website was also ordered to takedown all infringing content.

The order of the Court dated January 03, 2024 can be accessed here.

Pernod Ricard moves Supreme Court against JK Enterprise’s liquor brand LONDON PRIDE

Pernod Ricard has filed an appeal against an order passed by the Madhya Pradesh High Court refusing to restrain JK Enterprise from manufacturing beverages, alcoholic and non-alcoholic, under the mark LONDON PRIDE.

Pernod Ricard claims that JK Enterprise’s mark LONDON PRIDE and appearance of the ‘IMPERIAL BLUE’ bottle infringes on their rights in the mark BLENDER’S PRIDE and Imperial Blue. Ricard claims that the mark LONDON PRIDE will deceive the customers. Whereas, the High Court had held that the brands involve premium or ultra-premium whiskies whose consumers are sophisticated and educated.

While arguing the matter, the Appellant sought leave from the Apex Court and presented the bottles before the Bench to highlight the similarities.

Government may take control of regulating online gaming

The Ministry of Information and Technology (MeitY) may start to approve online real money games under rules passed for the online gaming sector. This development comes in light of the dissatisfaction expressed by the MeitY on the one application that they came across for self-regulatory body.

Report states that India’s music publishing business held back by lack of copyright compliance

A report published by EY India has in its findings revealed that the Indian music industry has grown 2.5-fold in last 3 years and the potential of doubling the revenues by 2026-27. However, this is only possible if the industry is able to combat the issues holding it back. The issues pertain to the poor copyright compliance and lack of awareness of music rights and legal clarity.

Less than 1% of retail establishments, hotels and restaurants have licenses obtained from Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS). Among TV channels, 796 out of 905 are not licensed with IPRS and 1033 out of 1035 radio stations have not taken a license.

Globally, the rights in sound recordings are separate from rights in lyrics and musical compositions. This practice is not followed in India due to court findings which favour movie producers in music rights, especially, since 70% to 80% of Indian music forms part of films.

Raising awareness among the music creators is a major concern and a need to ensure that they are earning their due royalties. Further, suggestion reported was simplification of the compliance procedure to grow revenue for music publishers and artists, including the simplification of quantification, invoicing, collection, and reporting process.

Bombay High Court in a John Doe order extends interim relief granted to the retail company Trent Limited wr.t. the trademark “ZUDIO”.

The Bombay High Court recently extended the interim relief granted to Tata Group’s Trent Limited by directing unknown persons to not use the company’s trademark ‘ZUDIO’. The ex-parte relief granted to Trent has restrained the Defendants from using the domain name zudiofranchise.net and the mark ZUDIO for their services.

The court noted that the mark ZUDIO is distinctive and has garnered enormous goodwill and reputation. The court also directed the domain name registrant to reveal the details of the party who has registered the infringing domain name.

The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting comments on Draft Press and Registration of Periodicals Rules, 2024

The Ministry has invited comments and suggestions on the Draft Press and Registration of Periodicals Rules, 2024 till February 04, 2024. The said rules are proposed to be notified to carry out the provisions of the Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023.

The Bill provides for registration of newspapers, periodicals, and books as well as cataloguing of books. After the Act of 2023 comes into effect, the Press and Registration of Books Act, 1867 shall stand repealed.

Read here.

TV9 files suit against Google over repeal threat to YouTube channels

Associate Broadcasting Limited, which runs television and digital channel, TV9, has filed a suit against Google seeking injunction over a threat of their YouTube channels being taken down due to copyright strikes on January 05.

The court listed the matter for hearing in March, after seeking Google’s response. The case shall decide on an important question of law if whether Indian courts have power to injunct a YouTube channel being taken down when a party from the US issues a copyright strike.

Under the YouTube copyright strike is policing measure used and practiced to takedown content that infringes on the copyright of the others. If a channel gets 3 copyright strikes in 90 days, their account, along with any associated channel, is terminated.

Read order here.

OpenAI and Microsoft face a class-action lawsuit filed by two authors

Two authors, Nicholas Basbanes and Nicholas Gage have filed a class-action suit against OpenAI and Microsoft, claiming that their copyrighted works were unlawfully used by the companies to develop their artificial intelligence system. The authors have sought damages up to $150,000 for each infringed work. OpenAI is facing a similar battle with the New York Times over copyright content used to train AI models.