Raabta Copyright infringement, IPRS money laundering case, Neerja film dispute, Hail Hydra by Marvel and more

Copyrights & Entertainment Law News: Indian Copyright and Entertainment Law Updates, International Copyright and Entertainment Updates, Entertainment Trademark Updates, Licensing and Merchandising UpdatesBananaIP News and Updates, Copyright Tip of the Week and more presented by the Media & Entertainment Law attorneys and experts of BananaIP Counsels, India’s Premier New Age IP Firm.

Copyright Quote of the Week

“There is no sense in owning the copyright unless you are going to use it. I don’t think anyone wants to hold all of this stud in a vault and not let anybody have it” – Hilary Rosen

Indian Copyrights and Entertainment Law Updates

 Magadheera team takes Raabta to court over copyright violation

Geeta Arts, the producers of the Telugu film Magadheera, directed by SS Rajamouli has approached the Hyderabad District Court against the Sushant Singh Rajput and Kirti Sanon starrer Raabta alleging copyright infringement. Ever since the trailer of this reincarnation saga hit the internet, there have been countless comparisons by the viewers to the Telugu blockbuster Magadheera. Geetha Arts, the producer of Maghadheera has approached the Hyderabad district court for a permanent injunction against the release of the film Raabta citing similarities based on the trailer. The Court has issued a notice to the Raabta producers and posted the matter for 1st June to decide whether Raabta should be permitted to release on 9th June.

Enforcement Directorate records Javed Akhtar’s statement in IPRS money laundering case

The Enforcement Directorate on 24th May 2017 recorded the statement of the Bollywood writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar in a money laundering case filed against the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS). The lyricists and songwriters including Mr. Akhtar had earlier filed a complaint against IPRS alleging that IPRS had defaulted royalty payments. Earlier Enforcement Directorate had attached mutual funds worth Rs 70.17 crores in this case.

The legal dispute between the Neerja producers and the family to escalate

Neerja, the critically acclaimed film about Neerja who was killed while saving the lives of the passengers onboard a PanAm flight which was hijacked at the Karachi airport. Recently the producers of the film, Bling Entertainment Solutions Ltd and the family of the deceased have been caught in a legal battle where the family claims that producers are liable for breach of contract for the failure of not sharing the profits from the film. The family claims that their profit share was 10% however they were paid a meagre amount. According to a DNA report, the family is all set to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court in this regard.

International Copyrights and Entertainment Law Updates

NBK-2k videogame developer sued over violation of copyrights in tattoos

Take Two interactive software, the developer of the game NBA 2K game is in court for more than a year for displaying the tattoos featured on the bodies of NBA stars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kenyon Martin, DeAndre Jordan and Eric Bledsoe in the game. The case is now in the news after Take Two filed its counterclaims seeking a judicial declaration that its use of tattoos in the game is both fair use and de minimus. Take-Two argues that the tattoos are not emphasized in NBA 2K and it is doing nothing more than depicting athletes as they appear in real life.

Broadcasters have the right to refuse advertisements says US District Court

The US District Court rejected a lawsuit filed by the online date website whatsyouprice.com against the satellite radio broadcaster SiriusXM. The website approached the court aggrieved by the SiriusXM’s decision to stop running its ads on the radio. In response to the lawsuit, SiriusXM brought a motion to strike the complaint claiming that the broadcaster’s decision to decline an advertisement is part of its constitutional free speech rights.  The court found merits in these arguments and had rejected the lawsuit filed by the website. This decision comes in the backdrop of American President calling the decisions of CNN, ABC, CBC and NBC channels refusal to air his commercials as an unprecedented act of censorship in America.

Entertainment Trademark Updates

HAIL HYDRA by Marvel

Marvel Comics has applied for registration of the mark HAIL HYDRA before the US Patent and Trademark Office in class 41. The phrase which was present in Marvel comics for decades recently entered into trouble after the domain www.hailhydra.com was redirected to President Donald Trump’s biography on the official White House website.

Licensing and Merchandising Updates

Zeven gets ICC merchandise Rights

Mahesh Bhupathi and Hemachandra Javeri (former Nike country head) owned Indian brand Zeven has managed to secure the merchandise rights for Indian Cricket Council (ICC) in India and other territories.  This 23-territory, the exclusive deal has become the biggest, multi-territory deal with respect to cricketing gear ever. The contract will be for a term of four years, where Zeven will have the exclusive license to make merchandise such as apparels, footwear, accessories etc

BananaIP Tip of the week

Managing copyright infringement case

Compared to a trademark or patent infringement, assessment of copyright infringement is ambiguous and not very straight forward. A series of tests ranging from the look and feel test to abstraction and comparison test are used to determine whether works are substantially similar to the story, plot, sequence and/or other levels. Mere copying of a theme or concept would not give rise to copyright infringement. Allegations of copyright infringement (especially with respect to films) can be effectively managed at both procedural and substantive levels. From appropriate responses to legal notices to strategic defenses to lawsuits, steps may be taken to build consensus against copyright infringing allegations.

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