NBDSA amends the News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Regulations (Regulations)- brings digital news under the purview of NBDSA, graded penalty and emergency powers

The News Broadcasters & Digital Association (NBDA), the apex body of news broadcasters in India, has brought digital news media under the purview of its self-regulatory body, the News Broadcasting & Digital Standards Authority (NBDSA) to bring it in sync with the evolving media landscape. Accordingly, several new definitions have been added to the Regulations. Additionally, penalties for violation of the Code of Conduct have been broadened to include graded penalties and the Authority now have suo motu emergency powers to issue interim directions.

Read more about it here.

Debate over norms for ad self-certification reaches Parliament

The Supreme Court of India has issued a directive on May 7, 2024 mandating all advertisers and advertising agencies to submit a self-declaration certificate before publishing or broadcasting any advertisement from June 18, 2024 onwards.

The mandate has caused significant upheaval across the media and advertising industry. Endless questions and doubts have arisen, ranging from who is responsible for filing the declarations to the extent of the mandate’s applicability for ads and multiple stakeholder meetings have been conducted in the couple of weeks to address all the industry’s concerns and challenges. As per reports, The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) is considering reducing the number of sectors requiring self-declaration certificates (SDCs) for advertisements after a high-level meeting with industry representatives and digital advertising companies like Google and Meta (Facebook) on June 25, 2024. On Friday, Rajya Sabha member Kartikeya Sharma flagged the issue in the Upper House, expressing concern over the unintended consequences of the Supreme Court-mandated initiative.

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MIB warns broadcasters against outsourcing TV channel operations to non permitted entities

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting (MIB) after it received several complaints against TV channels, has warned the broadcasters that transferring the core operations of a TV channel to a third party, including group entities, without prior permission is a violation of policy guidelines and will result in the cancellation of the licence. The MIB advisory clarified, ‘Letting the channels to any third party, including group entities, without the prior permission of the ministry is not allowed as per the existing policy guidelines.’ The ministry also emphasized that security clearance by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is a prerequisite for obtaining a TV channel license, and broadcasters must ensure that individuals without MHA security clearance are not involved in the operation of a TV channel. The directive was issued by the MIB after it received various complaints where certain TV channels have authorised operations or other core operations of the channel to a non permitted entity/person(s)/company through explicit or implicit agreements without prior permission from the ministry.

Read the directive here.

Karnataka High Court restrains broadcasting of news channel Power TV citing no proof of license renewal

The High Court of Karnataka has restrained Power TV channel from broadcasting activity till July 9 after noticing that the licence of the private Kannada television channel had expired in October 2021. Justice S.R. Krishna Kumar passed the interim order on petitions filed by IPS officer B.R. Ravikanthe Gowda and former MLC H.M. Ramesh Gowda and his wife A. Ramya Ramesh. The petitioners, who were “victims” of programmes aired by the television channel impacting their public image, had filed separate petitions complaining that the channel is being allowed to telecast programmes even though the licence had expired in October 2021 and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Central government had not renewed the licence.

Read more about the matter here.

Major labels sue AI music services Suno and Udio for copyright infringement

The Recording Industry Association of America has announced the filing of two copyright-infringement cases against the AI music services Suno and Udio for copyright infringement. The plaintiffs in the cases are music companies that hold rights to sound recordings infringed by Suno and Udio – including Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Records.

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News nonprofit sues OpenAI, Microsoft for copyright infringement

The Center for Investigative Reporting has sued ChatGPT maker OpenAI, Microsoft, marking a new front in the legal battle between news publications fighting against unauthorized use of their content on artificial intelligence platforms. The nonprofit, which produces Mother Jones and Reveal, said that OpenAI used its content without permission and without offering compensation, violating copyrights on the organization’s journalism.

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Bombay High Court summons Patanjali director, demands apology for trademark infringement

The Bombay High Court has summoned Patanjali Ayurveda’s director, Rajnish Mishra, demanding an ‘unconditional apology’ for alleged trademark infringement concerning their camphor product. Mangalam Organics has filed a copyright infringement, alleging that Patanjali’s camphor product ‘mimicked’ their own product, despite a restraining order issued in August 2023 against Patanjali. According to the plea, Patanjali’s ‘cone-shaped, non-woven fabric draped packaging’ was being sold online and at Patanjali Mega Store in Mumbai’s Virar. Mangalam Organics presented invoices from March 10 to April 28 and pointed out the product’s manufacturing date.

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SC dismisses MakeMyTrip appeal against Google over trademark

The Supreme Court has refused to grant relief to the online travel company MakeMyTrip in its claim against Google, alleging trademark infringement through the Google Ads program.  accused Google of benefiting its rival company Booking.com through sponsored links. MakeMyTrip had alleged infringement of its trademark by Google on its Google Ads programme. It argued that when its name was searched via the Google search bar, quite often the first advertisement category was that of Booking.com. The apex court dismissed the appeal, stating that Booking.com is not encroaching on MakeMyTrip’s trademark. According to the court, there is no likelihood of confusion as claimed by MakeMyTrip because users intending to visit MakeMyTrip’s website wouldn’t likely end up on Booking.com.

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Tips Industries and Wynk Ltd. Settle Dispute with INR 12 Crore Agreement, Bombay High Court Approves Settlement

The Bombay High Court has approved the settlement between Tips Industries Ltd. and Wynk Ltd. (now Xtelify Ltd.). The court allowed the amendment of the defendants’ name and recorded the Consent Terms, which include a total payment of INR 12 crore by Wynk Ltd. to Tips Industries Ltd. for the use of its repertoire from September 1, 2016, to September 10, 2020. The payment schedule is detailed in the Consent Terms, and the suits are disposed of accordingly. The interim applications are also disposed of, and court fees are to be refunded as per rules.

For more details, you can read the full order here.