Indian Copyright and Entertainment Law News and Updates, International Copyright and Entertainment Law Updates, Entertainment Trademark Updates, Licensing and Merchandising Updates, BIP 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

“A brainy person does not abuse copyright; instead he respects it and upholds it.” – Maximillian Degenerez.

Indian Copyrights and Entertainment Law Updates

Gautham Gambhir moves to court for restraining a Delhi Pub from using his name

Cricketer Gautham Gambhir has approached the Delhi High Court to restrain a Delhi-based pub from using his name as a tagline. In the petition, he alleges that the defendant has been running a chain of resto-bars by the name of “Ghungroo and Hawalat by Gautam Gambhir”. The petition claims that the tagline misrepresents to the public that the restaurant is owned by or associated with the cricketer. The petition refers to several adverse comments on social media platforms to showcase that usage of tagline misled the public to believe that the restaurant was run by the cricketer. Interestingly, the restaurant is also owned by a person named Gautham Gambhir who claims bonafide usage of his own name.

Notion Press launches India’s First Open Access Academic Publishing platform

Notion Press has launched, India’s first open access academic publishing platform for academic authors to publish their works in over 100 countries. enables authors to publish their content without assigning their copyrights and promises highest royalty rates from the sale of their works claims Naveen Valsakumar, CEO and Co-Founder of Notion Press.

International Copyrights and Entertainment Law Updates

Spotify settles class action copyright lawsuit for $43 million dollars

The online streaming site, Spotify settles the class action brought by the musician David Lowery and songwriter Mellissa Ferrick for willfully distributing copyrighted songs without paying mechanical royalties. If the proposed settlement is approved by the Court, Spotify will have to pay USD 43.4 million dollars to the rights owners (both publishers and songwriters) who were not receiving any royalties from Spotify when their songs were streamed by Spotify.

A tour into copyright surrogacy

Last Monday IP Kat published a post about the on-going discussion on the concept of copyright surrogacy. IP Kat reported about the exhibition Display At Your Own Risk that features digital surrogates of public domain works which were printed to work’s original size. IP Kat argues that the Exhibition raises the following questions regarding content ownership, access and re-use:

  1. “Can or should cultural institutions, collection owners, galleries, etc. claim copyright ownership in the digital copies of out-of-protection works?; and
  2. How does the practice of claiming ownership in digital surrogates impact the way we, as users and potential creators of derivative works, engage with works of art in the public domain”

You may read the IP Kat post on the issue here

Drake successful in a lawsuit oversampling filed by James Oscar Smith

The musician Drake has won a favorable order in a sampling case initiated against him by the estate of the Jazz musician, Jimmy Smith. According to the lawsuit, Drake’s 2013 song Pound Cake uses a sample from Smith’s Jimmy Smith Rap. In the original, Smith spoke about how Jazz music will be the only music to last, whereas, Drake altered it to real music is going to last. The Court found that the change in meaning was transformative enough to invite fair use exceptions. Moreover, the Judge found that the amount taken for the sample was reasonable inviting fair use exceptions.

ISP’s can’t charge fees for identifying copyright infringers says Canada’s Federal Court of Appeals

Canadian Federal Court of Appeals has ruled that ISP’s cannot charge content owners any fees for identifying copyright infringers. The suit was filed by Voltage Pictures against the Canadian ISP Rogers. Voltage had sought the identity of several BitTorrent users who were infringing its contents. However, Rogers had requested for fees of CAD 100 per hour for its effort to identify the infringers. The Court found that ISP’s has a responsibility for identifying the infringers and cannot charge fees for identifying suspected infringers.

Entertainment Trademark Updates


Marvel Comics has applied for registration of the mark SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE before the US Patent and Trademark Office in class 41.  It appears that Marvel is going to start a new comic/tv series under this mark after the much popular Ghost Rider series.

Licensing and Merchandising Updates

Baahubali: an immensely lucrative business enterprise

The tremendous success of Baahubali 2 and the Baahubali have transformed the films into a highly lucrative business enterprise. The producers stated that there is an animated series on Amazon Prime in India which primarily focuses on the early days of Baahubali and Bhallaladeva. There is also a three-part book series which tells the tale of Sivagami, from her youth till the time period of the first Baahubali film. The series is already being developed into a television series and the producers are looking for a platform partner for the same. Besides the aforementioned, the producers also stated that they have partnered with AMD and Radeon to come up with a VR (Virtual Reality) experience, which is still in progress. The films have seen unprecedented success and it is no surprise that the Baahubali game, which has approximately 3 million downloads has become the most downloaded app on Google Play store in India.

Dangal receives unparalleled success in China

Dangal, the biographical film about Mahavir Singh Phogat, the former amateur wrestler and his daughters Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari received immense critical and commercial success in India. However, the film has transcended its current title as a massively successful film in India and has gone on to make $152 million (INR 990 crore) plus, in China, in a short period of time, which is a first for any Indian film in a foreign market.

Tubelight to be distributed by YRF overseas

The upcoming Salman Khan starrer Tubelight featuring actors such as Sohail Khan and Chinese actress Zhu Zhu will be distributed by Yash Raj Films overseas, except for the MENA (The Middle East and North Africa) region. This will be the first collaboration between YRF and Salman Khan Films for overseas distribution.

BIP Tip of the week:

Using your own name for businesses may be fraught with certain risks especially if your name is same as that of a celebrity. In such case, you may be held liable for violating personality rights and for creating false endorsement between your business and the celebrity.

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