Court Dismisses “Tardigrades” Suit, Bandai Namco Sues AtGames for Ms. Pac Man Infringement, Italy Investigates Newspaper Piracy on Messaging Services, IMI Releases Digital Music Report 2019, Court Summons Kinjal Dave in Copyright Infringement Suit, TamilRockers Leaks Latest Releases, and more.
Court Dismisses “Tardigrades” Suit
Video game developer Anas Abdin, the creator of unreleased game “Tardigrades” had filed a copyright infringement suit in a New York Court, against CBS, the producer of the popular series Star Trek. The court has now granted CBS’ motion to dismiss, finding that there were no substantial similarities between Abdin’s video game and the series, Star Trek: Discovery.
Abdin had claimed that the tardigrade, situations, and characters from his game were directly copied into the series. The court explained that the similarities in the plots of both works is limited to the characters going on an adventure in space and the adventure of such characters with alien tardigrades. Also, since the physical attributes of the tardigrades in both the game as well as the series were similar to the real tardigrade, albeit on a much larger scale, the court found these attributes to be unprotectable under copyright.
Abdin announced the court’s decision on his blog, with a statement of uncertainty on developing more games in the future. He has not announced any intention to appeal the decision.
Bandai Namco Sues AtGames for Ms. Pac Man Infringement
Bandai Namco Entertainment, the Japanese game developer that owns the IP rights in the popular game “Ms. Pac-Man”, has filed a suit against AtGames in a California Court. The suit alleges trademark and copyright infringement, as well as counterfeiting, unfair competition and false advertising.
It also alleges that AtGames failed to comply with the terms of its license agreement with Bandai Namco, and released a version of the Pac-Man that materially differed from the approved version, which damaged Bandai’s reputation.
It further alleges that AtGames released an unauthorised “Ms. Pac-Man” arcade machine using registered trademarks and copyrighted characters, and made false claims to retailers about the legitimacy of its product to increase sales.
Bandai, which has filed the suit through its US entity, is seeking an injunction against AtGames, and triple damages for the infringement.
Italy Investigates Newspaper Piracy on Messaging Services
Encrypted messaging service Telegram is facing an investigation by Italian authorities for allegedly facilitating the distribution of pirated newspapers. The authorities initiated the investigation in response to a complaint by publishers of a newspaper, and are considering imposing fines worth USD 26,368 on 10,000 people.
Telegram has not yet responded to the request for co-operation with the investigation. The platform does not respond to takedown requests related to private messages, claiming that that the messages are encrypted and private.
A task force has been set up to assist the investigation and has requested that eight chats, which allow over 500,000 people to access these newspapers, be closed down. WhatsApp is also reported to be under investigation for similar allegations.
IMI Releases Digital Music Report 2019
The Indian Music Industry (IMI), that represents the recorded music industry in India, has released the Digital Music Study, 2019. This study examines the ways in which recorded music is consumed by ages 16-64 in India.
The report includes statistics on current consumption trends and growth opportunities in digital streaming. The report also covers the rise in popularity of Old/Classic Bollywood songs, , and the increase in the user base of streaming services.
The report along with statistics of the market brings to light the problems a music copyright owner are/may face with laws such as Section 31D under Copyright Act, 2013 and Safe harbor provisions under the IT Act, 2000. These provisions, according to the report, put restrictions on the revenue earned by the record industry and increase the value gap in fair value earnings from Radio, broadcasting and social media-based music applications such as TikTok.
While the major music consumption continues to take place on video streaming services such as YouTube that bring little revenue to copyright holders because of their free content, the report also points out the increase in piracy due to subscription costs and its effect on the music industry.
According to the report, the average Indian consumes much more music than the standard global consumption rate, which provides the industry with the potential to grow it into a Top 10 market.
The full report is available here.
Court Summons Kinjal Dave in Copyright Infringement Suit
Gujrati singer Kinjal Dave has been asked to appear before the court on October 10th 2019 in a copyright infringement suit filed by Kartik Patel, an Australia-based Gujarati singer, through Red Ribbon Entertainment Pvt Ltd, against her song “Char Char Bangdi Vadi Gadi”.
Red Ribbon had earlier filed a commercial suit before the High Court, alleging copyright infringement, but the court found that it did not have jurisdiction. The present civil suit at the city civil court, has been moved against Dave, Saraswati Studio and RDC Media, where the recording was made and later uploaded on an official YouTube channel.
Patel’s lawyers refused to comment regarding whether any monetary compensation is being sought.
TamilRockers Leaks Latest Releases
Within a few hours of its release, Bollywood film Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas, directed by Sunny Deol, debuting Karan Deol, was released online in a pirated format by TamilRockers.
Rambo Last Blood also faced a similar fate, with a pirated version of the film being released online within days of its release.
Despite stringent laws and a Delhi High Court order that puts a ban on similar piracy hubs, TamilRockers has remained available, due to proxy access and multiple domain extensions.
Authored and compiled by Ashwini Arun and Snehaja Rana (Associates, BananaIP Counsels)
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