Republic TV accused of copyright infringement, Eminem’s copyright infringement case, Samsung’s Gear VR Headset copyright infringement, FIFA merges with Megalicense Entertainment and more

Copyrights & Entertainment Law News: Indian Copyright News and Updates, International Copyright Updates, Entertainment Licensing & Merchandizing Updates, Digital Licensing News, BananaIP 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 Thought of the Week

We’re on the path of creating monopoly business practices out of copyright law. – Robin Gross

Indian Copyright News and Updates

Arnab Goswami of Republic TV is accused of Copyright theft

Bennett, Coleman & Co Ltd (BCCL) which owns the Times Network has filed a criminal complaint against Arnab Goswami, the founder of recently launched Republic TV for copyright infringement and breach of trust. In the complaint, BCCL alleges that the audio tapes used in the recent exposes by the Republic TV were ‘procured and accessed’ by the Arnab Goswami and his colleague Prema Sridevi during their employment period with its channel Times Now. Earlier, BCCL had sent a cease and desist notice to the Republic TV asking it to refrain from using the phrase NATION WANTS TO KNOW.

Republic TV’s viewership data to be released today

The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has written a letter to the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) to not release the viewership data. The request was made on the basis that Republic TV is violating the TRAI regulations as the channel is registered by various cable distribution platforms multiple times under different genres, in the result, the channel appears more than once in the electronic program guide. The BARC is not heeding to the request made and will be releasing the viewership data on their website today, 19 May 2017 at 1 pm.

International Copyright Updates

Eminem’s trial against the New Zealand’s National party concluded

Eminem’s copyright infringement battle with the New Zealand National party reached a closure after two weeks of trial. The Judges observed that the original song ‘Lose Yourself’ by Eminem and the campaign song ‘Eminem-Esque’ created by the National Party are substantially similar to each other. However, the court is yet to give a final ruling on the matter and it is expected that the final ruling will be given in three months.

Samsung sued by ZeniMax for copyright infringement in reference to virtual reality software

ZeniMax, an American media company has filed a lawsuit against Samsung’s Gear VR Headset for copyright infringement of technology and software. ZeniMax has recently been successful in a copyright infringement suit filed against Oculus, whose parent company is Facebook with regard to the same software. The software is a virtual reality technology which is developed by ZeniMax and allegedly used by Samsung in their headset product, Gear VR. It is alleged that Samsung has released an updated version of the product even after knowing about the suit filed by ZeniMax against Oculus. The present suit is seeking royalties, damages, and profits from the sales of infringing works and use of trade secrets.

 Entertainment Licensing & Merchandizing Updates

Universal Music partners with Tencent

Universal Music, the world’s biggest music company has inked a licensing agreement with Tencent, a Chinese company to stream the Universal’s music. The partnership also ventures to open a recording studio in China, which will provide opportunities to local artists to record and shoot their songs. This collaboration will make Universal one of the biggest streaming companies in the world, with their subscribers reaching to more than 15 million.

FIFA and Megalicense Entertainment joins hand

Russian company Megalicense and FIFA have collaborated together for managing the retail and licensing program for FIFA Confederation Cup and FIFA World Cup. This merger facilitates the production and licensing of official FIFA products in the light of the forthcoming World Cup of 2018.

Digital Licensing Updates

Iconic MP3 format likely to disappear

Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits, the developer of MP3 has canceled all the licensing programs related to the music format.  In its place, the AAC-Advanced Audio Coding will be licensed as an effort to promote new technology. The MP3 format was created in the late 1980’s which revolutionized the music industry by compressing the file size without affecting the quality of the files.

Sound Exchange acquires CMRRA

Sound Exchange, the US body concerned with collecting royalties for labels and artists for digital radio transmissions, has acquired CMRRA-the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency. CMRRA is the Canadian counterpart of Sound Exchange which licenses songs to labels and collects the royalty on behalf of lyricists and publishers.

BananaIP Copyright Tip of the Week

Key clauses in Film Licensing Agreement:

While drafting a Film Licensing Agreement special attention should be given to the following:

  1. The agreement should clearly define the rights granted to the licensee;
  2. The agreement should clearly specify the platforms through which the licensee is allowed to exploit and/or communicate the licensed content; and
  3. The agreement should clearly specify the limitations to the rights granted to the licensee under the agreement.

The content owners should maintain adequate rights management charts to avoid double granting of rights.

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