Calcutta High Court rules in favor of IPRS in relation to the exploitation of music as part of sound recordings and films on Vodafone’s VAS services

The Calcutta High Court, in its judgment, upheld the rights of the Indian Performing Right Society Ltd. (IPRS) against Vodafone Idea Ltd., reinforcing the necessity for Vodafone to obtain a license from IPRS and pay royalties before commercially exploiting the musical and literary works incorporated in sound recordings as part of their Value-Added Services (VAS). The court dismissed Vodafone’s claim that it was not required to pay royalties to IPRS, highlighting that amendments to the Copyright Act provide substantive rights to the authors of original works, ensuring they receive royalties for every public performance or communication of their work. The court emphasized the legal obligation of commercial exploiters to compensate the original authors and rejected the idea that the underlying works can be used without proper licensing and royalty payments, asserting the protective measures intended by the Copyright (Amendment) Act of 2012 to prevent the exploitation of creators with weaker bargaining powers.

You can read the judgement here.

Delhi High Court protects personality rights of Jackie Shroff, restrains unauthorised use of name, images and voice

In a recent interim order, the Delhi High Court has safeguarded the personality and publicity rights of actor Jackie Shroff and has restrained various entities, including e-commerce stores, AI chatbots, and social media accounts, from using Shroff’s name, image, voice, and likeness without his explicit consent.

Justice Sanjeev Narula presiding over the matter recognized Shroff’s “status as a celebrity” which confers upon him rights over his personality traits and associated attributes taking into consideration his illustrious spanning over 220 films, his appearances in TV shows and web series, numerous endorsements, and his trademarked term ‘Bhidu’.

This is the first time that an AI chatbot has been restrained by an Indian Court for violation of personality rights.

Read order here.

“Misleading Gutka Ads”- Bombay High Court dismisses plea against SRK, Amitabh Bachchan

Observing that frivolous public interest litigations must be dealt with firm hands and be nipped in the bud, Bombay high court dismissed a petition filed by an NGO named Yash Foundation seeking registration of criminal cases against top cine stars and cricketers including Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Sunil Gavaskar for allegedly promoting and advertising gutka and tobacco products. The Court observed that petitioner had approached the court without doing proper research and study and the petition was not properly filed.

Referring to Supreme Court’s verdict, the bench said it has clearly observed that the Court should, on one hand, encourage the PIL petitions being filed raising genuine public causes, especially for the benefit of the disadvantaged sections of the society, however, at the sametime, the Court should also be dealing with frivolous PIL petitions being filed for extraneous reasons with firm hands and such attempts should be nipped in the bud.

Read more about it here.

Fundamental Right to Health Encompasses the Right of a Consumer to Be Made Aware of the Quality of Products Being Offered for Sale by Manufacturers: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has declared that the fundamental right to health encompasses consumers’ right to be made aware of the quality of products offered for sale by manufacturers, service providers, advertisers and advertising agencies. A bench comprising justices Hima Kohli and Ahsanuddin Amanullah said there is the absence of any robust mechanism enacted in law to ensure that the obligations cast on the advertiser to adhere to stipulations in the Guidelines for Prevention of Misleading Advertisements and Endorsements of Misleading Advertisements, 2022, in letter and spirit. “To fill up this vacuum, it is directed that henceforth, before an advertisement is printed/aired/displayed, a self-declaration shall be submitted by the advertiser/advertising agency on the lines contemplated in Rule 7 of the Cable Television Networks Rules, 1994”, said the bench.

Read more about it here.

IMI proposes revised definition of “Broadcast” in response to National Broadcasting Policy, oppose OTT inclusion

The Indian Music Industry (IMI) in response to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) consultation on the National Broadcasting Policy has suggested that the definition of “broadcast” under Policy should be limited to a “point to multipoint” technology and should exclude “point to point” transmissions, which involve individual delivery to consumers, thus implying that OTT platforms should not be categorized as broadcasts. The IMI defines this as “a process in which the same signal flows, or is transferred from a single origin to multiple consumers arriving at all end points at the same time.”

While IMI’s definition implies the exclusion of OTTs from the broadcast category, there’s no explicit statement to that effect.

Read more about it here.

Centre To Launch Ott Platform With ‘Decent’ Shows To Combat ‘Vulgar, Abusive’ Content

As per reports, public service broadcaster Prasar Bharati is mulling to start its own over-the-top (OTT) platform from August and which will air content for free the first year or two.

Read more about it here.

IAMAI: Digital Competition Bill may hinder investments in tech startups.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) has expressed apprehensions about the draft Digital Competition Bill, advocating against the need of ex-ante regulations for digital markets. The industry body explains that under the Competition Act currently in place, companies are under an ex-post regime, and are only expected to ensure that anti-competitive behaviour doesn’t occur. With an overlapping ex-ante regime under the bill, a tech company will be required to comply with parallel competition legislation. They have submitted that it could have adverse effects on Indian startups and other digital enterprises arguing that the proposed regulations could stifle venture investments in technology startups from larger companies because of the excessive ambiguity in the scope of the law.

Read more about it here.

Mythology OTT platform “Hari Om” set to debut in June

Hari Om aims to become the ultimate destination for experiencing Indian heritage and religious content. The platform is designed to cater to the growing global interest among younger audiences in Indian culture and spirituality. The platform will feature more than 20 epic mythological shows and boast a stellar cast and crew.

Director Sanal Kumar removes ‘Vazhakku’ from online platform following copyright complaint by co-producer

The latest Malayalam movie, “Vazhakku,” has been removed from Vimeo, just hours after its director, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, made it available for free streaming after a copyright infringement complaint for exploitation of the film without proper authorisation was filed by co-producer Gireesh Nair.