Entertainment and E-Commerce Law News: Gigi Hadid Claims Ownership Over Paparazzi Photos in Suit, Disney to Re-Release ‘Avengers: Endgame’, and more
Kabir Singh and Toy Story 4 Leaked on TamilRockers, Kerala HC Permits Screening of Patwardhan’s ‘Reason’ at Film Festival, Mumbai Doctor Writes to Maharashtra Health Minister Against ‘Kabir Singh’, Gigi Hadid Responds to Copyright Infringement Suit with Ownership Claim, Prenda Copyright Mastermind Sentenced to Prison, Artist’s Widow Loses Copyright Suit Against Beer Company, Gibson Urges Guitarists to Become Whistleblowers, Apple Responds to Spotify’s Anti-Competitive Claims in EU, US Companies Resume Selling Products to Huawei, Disney to Re-Release ‘Avengers: Endgame’, ASOS Launches ‘Virtual Catwalk’, Altitude Sports Extends E-Commerce Platform, Telangana Now Houses Largest Amazon Delivery Centre and more.
Kabir Singh and Toy Story 4 Leaked on TamilRockers
Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani’s latest film, Kabir Singh has been leaked on torrent website TamilRockers within just a few hours after its release. Kabir Singh is a remake of the popular Telugu hit film Arjun Reddy and is one of Shahid Kapoor’s biggest openings so far, but now that the film is available online, this could affect its overall earnings.
In spite of the continuous efforts of the film business stakeholders and the government authorities, TamilRockers has now expanded its reach beyond regional movies and has moved on to web series and Hollywood movies as well, with Toy Story 4 being the latest Hollywood movie that it has leaked.
Kerala HC Permits Screening of Patwardhan’s ‘Reason’ at Film Festival
The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had denied permission for the screening of Anand Patwardhan’s documentary film Vivek (Reason) at the International Documentary and Short Film Festival that is currently underway in Thiruvananthapuram. The Kerala High Court overruled the centre’s objections that the screening could cause a “law and order issue,” and permitted the film to be screened at the festival. However, the Court clarified that the film cannot be screened anywhere else. The four-hour film covers the murders of Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, and the role of the Sanatan Sanstha in spreading right-wing extremist violence.
The film has won a number of awards across the world, including the award for the Best Feature-Length Documentary at the 31st International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam.
Mumbai Doctor Writes to Maharashtra Health Minister Against ‘Kabir Singh’
Mumbai based doctor Pradeep Ghatge wrote a letter to the Maharashtra Health Minister, Eknath Shinde complaining that Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani starrer Kabir Singh portrays doctors in a negative light. According to him the alleged movie sends a wrong message about the medical profession. Ghatge also said that the Censor Board should take action against such movies.
Gigi Hadid Responds to Copyright Infringement Suit with Ownership Claim
In a copyright infringement suit filed against model Gigi Hadid earlier this year, by Xclusive-Lee, an agency, the model believes that she should have the right to post paparazzi pictures of herself on her Instagram account. Hadid’s legal team argues that her participation in the photos in the form of her smile and outfit and subsequent posting of them to her Instagram account is a case of fair use and did not amount to infringement. They also stated that Gigi Hadid did not make any money by posting the pictures on Instagram, unlike Xclusive-Lee, which stood to gain commercially from the pictures.
This argument put forth by Hadid’s legal team could very well change the way in which copyright laws with regard to paparazzi photos are henceforth interpreted.
Prenda Copyright Mastermind Sentenced to Prison
Paul Hansmeier, a lawyer, who ran an x-rated online fraud scheme, better known as the Prenda copyright trolling scam, has recently been sentenced to 14 years in prison and has also been ordered by the Court to repay USD 1.5 million to 704 victims of his scam. Hansmeier and his partner John Steele uploaded x-rated movies online and then sued people who downloaded them, for copyright infringement. Hansmeier and Steele, took advantage of Florida’s “pure bill of discovery” rules to try to abuse the system to get names to shakedown based on IP addresses.
While many firms have been employed by film and music makers to prosecute copyright pirates, Hansmeier, however, via a shell company called Prenda Law he set up to run the scam, owned the rights to these x-rated movies for which he sought fees.
Artist’s Widow Loses Copyright Suit Against Beer Company
Joelle Signorelli, whose late husband painted an image of jazz musician Thelonious Monk for the North Coast Brewing Company’s beer labels, had filed a copyright lawsuit against the brewers. She claimed that the company used the artwork for an array of marketing materials, not just beer labels, exceeding the limited use intended by her husband Eduardo Smissen. The Court however, dismissed the suit saying Signorelli failed to show that her husband “by word or by action” limited the scope of the license he granted to North Coast.
Gibson Urges Guitarists to Become Whistleblowers
Guitar giant, Gibson, has created a counterfeit URL submission form on its website Gibson.com, where guitarists are encouraged to report any models that may bear a resemblance to the company’s designs. The form is intended only for the reporting of suspected counterfeit items that may possibly infringe on Gibson’s registered trademarks. The form also advises: “Protect yourself, there is no reason to buy a new Gibson instrument from any source other than an authorized dealer.” There is no other manufacturer who currently has an open form for reporting copyright infringements.
Apple Responds to Spotify’s Anti-Competitive Claims in EU
Leading music streaming company Spotify provider had filed a lawsuit against Apple in the European Union, alleging that Apple was engaging in anti-competitive practices with regard to the in-app payment system on its App Store. Spotify claimed that Apple took a 30 percent cut, known as the “Apple Tax”, from the revenue it generated through app developers that market their products on the App Store. Spotify further stated that due to the “Apple Tax”, its monthly subscription increased from USD 99.9 to USD 12.99. However, Apple Music is not subject to this tax as it is developed by Apple itself, thus giving it an unfair advantage over other streaming apps.
While dismissing these claims, Apple has said that it charges a 15 percent cut on subscriptions of users that subscribe to Spotify using the App Store and that it had charged a 30 percent cut only during the first year of subscription. Apart from the present matter, Apple has also been facing other anti-trust allegations which claim that Apple seems to gaining a monopoly through its App Store, thereby creating a biased market. The European Union has not yet issued a judgement for this matter and this could take a while, since there seem to be other companies as well that have accused Apple of anti-competitive practices.
US Companies Resume Selling Products to Huawei
American companies including chip-makers Micron Technology Inc. and Intel Corp. have resumed their shipments to the Chinese technology company, Huawei. The US Commerce Department had blacklisted Huawei Technologies Co. last month to prohibit the Chinese company from buying American components and software. In spite of these restrictions imposed by the U.S. Government, several chip making companies in the U.S. have found a way to legally circumvent this ban.
This has been made possible due to the recently discovered exception to the ban which states that even when companies have their headquarters in the U.S., they can still continue to sell their products through their overseas subsidiaries by classifying their technology as foreign.
Disney to Re-Release “Avengers: Endgame”
Disney confirmed that “Avengers: Endgame” will be re-released in theatres with an unfinished deleted scene that wasn’t a part of the initial film. Special screenings of the movie will also include a video introduction by director Anthony Russo and a sneak peek at “Spider-Man: Far from Home.” The re-released version claims to have a previously deleted scene, a little tribute and a few surprises after the end credits.
The main reason behind the re-release could be an aim to de-throne “Avatar” as the highest grossing film. After earning USD 2.78 billion globally, Avatar has continued to remain the highest grossing film for almost a decade. “Avengers: Endgame” has collected USD 2.74 billion so far, and aims to surpass “Avatar” with its earnings after the re-release of the film, by banking on the massive global fan following of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
ASOS Launches ‘Virtual Catwalk’
British online fashion retailer ASOS recently launched its first augmented reality (AR) experience, ‘Virtual Catwalk’ with the help of London-based augmented reality firm HoloMe as part of its ongoing experimentation with new technology. Virtual Catwalk will run on 100 new ASOS Design products. By pointing their smartphone cameras at any suitable flat surface and clicking the ‘AR’ button on the product page in the ASOS app, customers can view models as if they are walking in front of them.
A few months back, the company had also launched an Action on Google Assistant, allowing customers to shop using their voice, and also introduced an artificial intelligence-driven Fit Assistant to help customers get the right size.
Altitude Sports Extends E-Commerce Platform
Canada’s online leader in technical apparel, Altitude Sports has launched its ‘Marketplace’ as a one-stop-shop for technical outdoor and urban apparel. For Fall 2019, the Marketplace will offer 20 industry-leading brands including Osprey & Garneau’s collections. Altitude Sports partner website TheLastHunt.com is Canada’s only eCommerce business dedicated to selling discounted outdoor clothing and equipment.
Telangana Now Houses Largest Amazon Delivery Centre
In a move towards expanding its network in Telangana, Amazon India recently launched its largest delivery station covering over 20,000 sq. ft. in Hyderabad to speed up last-mile deliveries for customers in the neighbouring Ranga Reddy district. The company has around 90 delivery stations in the state, with over 12 in Hyderabad, three fulfilment centres in the city and two sorting centres and close to 90 Amazon-owned and service partner delivery stations in the state.
Authored and compiled by Ashwini Arun and Neharika Vhatkar (Associates, BananaIP Counsels)
The Entertainment Law News Bulletin is brought to you jointly by the Entertainment Law, eCommerce 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: Ent 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.