Affidavit Filed to Dismiss Infringement Suit Against Chhapaak; YouTube’s Takedown System- A Hassle for Content Creators; Miley Cyrus Reportedly Settles Copyright Infringement Lawsuit; New York’s MTA Issues Copyright Infringement Notice to Mapmaker; Shenzhen Court Grants Copyright to AI Generated Article; Supreme Cites ‘Fair Use’ Defence in Infringement Suit and more.
Affidavit Filed to Dismiss Infringement Suit Against Chhapaak
Meghna Gulzar, producer of the movie ‘Chhapaak’ filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed against her, by Rakesh Bharti who claimed that he had acquired the rights to produce a film based on a story similar to that of ‘Chhapaak’. The film ‘Chhapaak’ is based on the life story of the acid attack victim, Laxmi Agarwal. He also claimed that he had shared a copy of his script with Fox Star Studios, KA Productions, and Mriga Films, but later learnt that Meghna Gulzar’s team was producing the film separately.
In response to the lawsuit, the affidavit filed by Meghna Gulzar used the classical tenet of copyright law, that no copyright can exist in facts, to say that “Mr Bharti has no right in his favour to make any copyrightable work based on the life of Laxmi Agarwal. Copyright protection cannot be extended to information that constitutes facts available in public domain and is based on events that have factually transpired. Protection under the Copyright Act does not extend to ideas/concepts.” The final decision of the Bombay High Court is still awaited in this matter.
YouTube’s Takedown System- A Hassle for Content Creators
YouTube celebrity make-up artist, James Charles, and YouTube’s biggest content creator, PewDiePie, have vastly differing content on their channels, they seem to have a common enemy in AlfDigital. Both Charles and PewDiePie had their videos blocked by AlfDigital, a company that is seemingly non-existent. James Charles is currently working with YouTube to resolve this issue.
YouTube’s copyright policing system has increasingly been criticised by YouTubers for its susceptibility to being abused by companies who file copyright complaints but do not own the copyright to the work they are claiming. This is in large part due to the policy of taking down the disputed video instantly before making any investigations into whether the copyright claim is genuine.
Miley Cyrus Reportedly Settles Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
Reports of a settlement agreement are making the rounds regarding the lawsuit against Miley Cyrus over a lyric in the hit single ‘We Can’t Stop’. The infringement claim filed by a Jamaican dancehall artist Flourgon, alleged that Miley Cyrus’s team of writers had plagiarised the lyric ‘we run things, things don’t run we’ from a song he had written in 1998.
It has now been reported that, Cyrus settled the lawsuit for an amount of USD 300 million. However, an official statement from Cyrus and her team is yet to be made.
New York’s MTA Issues Copyright Infringement Notice to Mapmaker
New York’s State-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) issued a notice to an amateur map-maker and illustrator, Jake Berman, claiming that it owned the copyright to a custom-designed New York Subway map produced by Berman, which was marketed on the eCommerce platform Etsy. MTA claimed resemblance with the current MTA Subway map available online, based on the Vignelli minimalist style.
Berman, who makes transit maps as a hobby, appealed and replied to the MTA’s notice, however, the MTA dismissed the differences between the two maps as being minor and argued that the free access to the map on the MTA website could only imply that Berman’s map is based on the MTA Vignelli map.
Shenzhen Court Grants Copyright to AI Generated Article
Adding to the raging debate about whether machine created intellectual works can be granted copyright protection, a court in China’s Guangdong province ruled last week that a work generated by artificial intelligence (AI) qualified for protection under copyright. This ruling comes on the heels of US and Australian judgements last year that ruled that copyright could only be vested in the products of the human mind.
The ruling regarded that a news article written in an automated manner by tech giant Tencent’s robot Dreamwriter, conformed to the requirements of written work and the content showed the selection, analysis and judgment of relevant information and data. It also remarked that the structure of the article was reasonable, the logic was clear, and there was originality in the produced article. Civil liability was imposed on the defendant for copying and publishing the article on its own platform. However, whether the ruling reflects the law on copyright in Chinese statutes is doubted by many.
Supreme Cites ‘Fair Use’ Defence in Infringement Suit
Garment retail company Supreme’s corporate entity Chapter 4 Corporation, filed its response in the ongoing infringement suit filed against it by ASAT Outdoors which claimed that Supreme had breached its copyright in a camouflage print design. It admitted that it had not licensed the camouflage print design from ASAT Outdoors, but nevertheless, it went on to first raise questions about whether ASAT Outdoors held the exclusive right to use and market the specific camouflage design, and even if it did, it claimed that Supreme’s products were protected by eight defences under copyright law.
It claimed, amongst other things, that an ‘express implied license’ which Chapter 4 held for the print, protects them against this infringement suit. In addition, and in a manner that is factually unclear, it also claimed that it was protected by the doctrine of fair use, which usually protects the defendant in a copyright claim when use of the copyright work is done for a limited, ‘transformative’ purpose.
Authored and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Yashita Gour (Legal Intern)
The Copyright and Entertainment Law News Bulletin is brought to you jointly by the Entertainment Law and Consulting/Strategy Divisions of BananaIP Counsels, a Top IP Firm in India. If you have any questions, or need any clarifications, please write to [email protected] with the subject: Entertainment Law News
Disclaimer: Please note that the news bulletin has been put together from different sources, primary and secondary, and BananaIP’s reporters may not have verified all the news published in the bulletin. You may write to [email protected] for corrections and take down.