Copyright cases, Copyright infringement, Entertainment technology, Licensing, Copyright Board, Copyright tips and more, presented by the Media & entertainment law attorneys and experts of BananaIP Counsels, India’s Premier New Age IP Firm.
Entertainment quote of the week
Of all the creative work produced by humans anywhere, a tiny fraction has continuing commercial value. For that tiny fraction, the copyright is a crucially important legal device.
– Lawrence Lessig
Plagiarism charges against Hindi movie titled ‘Hindi Medium’
Shiboprosad Mukherjee and Nandita Roy, filmmakers of a Bengali film called Ramdhanu have alleged copyright infringement against the makers of the Hindi movie titled ‘Hindi Medium’. Mukherjee has claimed that the movie is a copy of their film ‘Ramdhanu’ and no prior permission was taken by the Hindi movie makers. The producers of the Bengali film have now approached the court alleging copyright infringement and seeking a compensation of Rs. 5 crore.
Kross Television India Pvt Ltd & Anr vs. Vikhyat Chitra Production & Ors
Bombay High Court has granted an ad-interim injunction against the makers of ‘Pushpaka Vimana’, a Kannada film from exhibiting, making available for viewing and / or in any manner showing the Kannada Film on any medium, including but not restricted to, cinema theatres, television, internet, making and releasing CDS/DVs or granting of any satellite rights. The Court prima facie found that the Kannada film is a copy of the original Korean film titled ‘Miracle In Cell No. 7’ the rights to which are owned by Kross Pictures India. The final hearing of the case has been scheduled for April 12, 2017.
Copyright News, India
Copyright Board to Merge with IPAB
Spicy IP has reported that the Finance Bill, 2017, seeks to merge the Copyright Board with IPAB. While it is a welcome move to bring all IP Appellate bodies under one roof, Copyright Board’s activities may not completely gel with that of the Appellate Body.
Government of India to encourage Film Shooting in India
The Indian Government is planning to issue film visas to encourage film shooting in India. The objective of the program is to encourage foreign film makers to shoot in India. An award is being instituted for the state with most film shooting friendly environment as well.
Entertainment trademark news and update
Warner Bros. claims trademark infringement for ‘Golden Ticket’ beer brand.
Warner Bros. has filed a notice of Opposition with USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appellate Board (TTAB) challenging the ‘Golden Ticket’ trademark for beer by Southern Sky which is likely to cause confusion among the public. In the 1971 cult classic by the filmmaker, children seek out golden tickets hidden in Wonka candy bar wrappers to win a tour of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory and a chance for an unknown grand prize. Warner Bros. own federal trademark registration for the word mark ‘Golden Ticket’.
To avoid abandonment of the Application, Southern Sky must file a reply with TTAB by April 10, 2017.
Entertainment Patent News and Updates
Tivo licenses patent to Dwango
Rovi Corporation, a TiVo Company who is also a global leader in entertainment technology has entered into an Intellectual Property license agreement with Dwango, a network entertainment company in Japan which operates the video hosting service, niconico. It enables entertainment experiences which are available on a wide range of devices with its SVOD and TVOD services.
Digital and Internet Licensing
YouTube, Advertising and Extremist Videos
Several brands such as Walmart, Pepsi, Coke, and so on have decided to cut their budgets on YouTube advertising. The companies made this decision after their advertisements were displayed alongside extremist videos, hate speech and racist videos among others. The companies did not want extremist and terrorist groups to monetize on their videos for extremist activities.
Satellite and Terrestrial Television Licensing
In a recent decision, the CJEU ruled that cable re-transmission of a television channel within the reception area of a broadcast, which is free to air and free over the air would not amount to copyright infringement, and a separate permission is not required for such transmission. The European Court came to this conclusion in Staatlichgenehmigte Gesellschaft der Autoren, Komponisten und Musikverlegerregistrierte GenossenschaftmbH (AKM) v Zürs.net Betriebs GmbH, a case in which the question of re-transmission using communal antennas was raised. This means that a separate license is not required for cable and internet transmissions in a reception area.
International Entertainment Law Cases
Cheer Leaders’ Dress is Copyrightable – US Supreme Court
In Star Athletica v Varsity Brands, the US Supreme Court upheld the copyrightability of the cheer leader dress designs. Applying the conceptual severability test, the Court said that stripes, chevrons and color blocks on the dress designs in question can be separated from the function of the dress by simple identification and imagination. It stated that if the artistic works can be identified and imagined independently or on another tangible medium, they will merit copyright protection.
Stairway to Heaven Copyright Dispute Continues
Recently, a California District Court came to the conclusion that Led Zeppelin’s popular rock song, Stairway to Heaven, was not copied from Spirit’s Taurus. The Jury concluded that although both the songs started with similar cords, there was no substantial similarity between the songs when the compositions were compared on record. Randy Wolfe, the guitarist of Spirit, has now appealed the ruling to the 9th Circuit Court and the battle continues.
Jimi Hendrix Trade Mark and Copyright Suits continue
The copyright and trade mark suits between Jimi Hendrix’s estate, managed by his step sister, and his brother Leon and Andrew started in 2004. Leon was asked to leave the family business, but continues to use the rocker’s copyrights and trademarks leading to the suits. Suits have been filed with respect to unauthorized use of Jimi Hendrix’s IP with respect to food, wine, alcohol and other products.
Fox sues ‘Film On X’ for Infringement
Fox and other content providers for TV stations have sued Film On X for copyright infringement. Film On X has claimed that it qualifies for a compulsory blanket license to broadcast programs as a cable television/MVPD. Fox and others however have claimed contrary suggesting that Film On X does not qualify as a cable television provider and must acquire a separate permission. Film On is an internet based television that enables international viewing of local television programs.
Entertainment Licensing and Merchandizing
VIZ MEDIA Acquires Licensing and Merchandizing Rights Over BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS.
VIZ Media has acquired North and South America rights over the Ninja series, BORUTO: NARUTO NEXT GENERATIONS. The rights include: Digital, Home Media, Broadcasting and Merchandizing. The story of the son of the popular Ninja will be available in US on Hulu on Wednesdays.
SpacePOP, an animated Youtube series by Genius Brands announce expansion to UK and Chinese markets.
As a manoeuvre to expand brand awareness and building of SpacePOP media franchises, Genius Brand has entered into licensing and merchandising agreement with WeKids Asia Ltd. to launch the program across China, while U Music TV will be distributing the content throughout UK.
BananaIP Entertainment Law Tip of the Week
Getting a license for a singing performance is easy and straight forward. All the singer needs to do is give the list of songs she/he will be singing, and the event organizer can get a license for using lyrics and compositions for the show. Most works may be licensed from copyright societies or collective management agencies in one shot. There is no need to refrain from singing based on fear of copyright infringement.
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