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Kangana Ranaut Accused of Copyright Infringement, Delhi HC Allows Release of ‘The White Tiger’ on Netflix, Bob Dylan Faces USD 7.25 Million Lawsuit and more.
Kangana Ranaut Accused of Copyright Infringement, Delhi HC Allows Release of ‘The White Tiger’ on Netflix, Bitcoin Websites Asked to Remove White Paper After Copyright Infringement Claim, Bob Dylan Faces USD 7.25 Million Lawsuit, TikTok faces Source Code Leak and Written Evidence for UK’s Music Streaming Economics.
Kangana Ranaut Accused of Copyright Infringement
Ashish Kaul, the author of the book, ‘Didda: The Warrior Queen of Kashmir’ has claimed that, Kangana Ranaut’s film ‘Manikarnika Returns: The Legend Of Didda’ allegedly violates his copyrights.
Kaul had asked the actress to write a foreword for the Hindi version of his book in 2020 but had not got any reply either from her or her manager. He claims the story and book have been usurped by the actress who is on the verge of producing the second instalment to her Manikarnika franchise.
Delhi HC Allows Release of ‘The White Tiger’ on Netflix
The Delhi High Court refused to stay the release of the film ‘The White Tiger’ on Netflix after a plea by American producer John Hart Jr. Hart claimed that, there was an alleged violation of a literary auction agreement between him and the original author of the story, Aravind Adiga, which allowed the American producer to make a film out of the book.
However, once he realized Netflix was also in the process of making and releasing the film, he sent a cease and desist notice. Netflix argued that the OTT film release involved huge finances and goodwill that could be compromised if the release was stayed.
The court agreed that it will cause “serious and irreparable consequences to the defendants if the release of the film was stalled at this stage and that it could not arrive at a prima facie view that copyright was infringed.” Nevertheless, Netflix was asked to keep detailed accounts in case a copyright violation was proved later on.
Bitcoin Websites asked to remove Infringing White Paper
Bitcoin.org and bitcoincore.org received allegations of copyright infringement of the Bitcoin white paper from Craig Wright, alleged owner of the paper, the Bitcoin name and of bitcoin.org. Claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, Wright is just one of the several claiming ownership over the Bitcoin white paper. In 2019, Wei Liu had come forward claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto and registered a copyright for the white paper.
Crypto proponents claim that “the white paper was in the original repo that was licensed under MIT” and that Bitcoin white paper is open source and part of the public domain.
The bitcoin.org donation address for the organization’s legal defense has started to receive a number of donations since several Bitcoin supporters have tweeted about the copyright infringement lawsuit.
Bob Dylan Faces USD 7.25 Million Lawsuit
After selling his entire catalogue to Universal Music Publishing Group, Bob Dylan is facing a USD 7.25 million lawsuit, filed by the estate of songwriter Jacques Levy.
Levy, who cowrote seven of the nine tracks on Dylan’s 1976 Desire album, had signed a contract guaranteeing him 35 percent “of any and all income earned by the compositions.” Nevertheless, Levy’s estate claims they didn’t receive a payment from UMPG’s catalogue buyout.
Neither Bob Dylan nor Universal Music Group had commented publicly on the case from Jacques Levy’s estate at the time the songs were written.
TikTok faces Source Code Leak
A reverse engineer and coder, has reverse-engineered the TikTok Android app revealing it to be a data collection engine rather than a social network. The app includes dedicated location tracking, phone call collection, screenshots saved to the phone, all information about WiFi networks, and even some facial recognition technology.
The source code was up on GitHub for a few days before TikTok started sending DMCA takedowns to remove the leak. The coder who uploaded the source code has not commented on the situation since.
Written Evidence for UK’s Music Streaming Economics
The committee behind the inquiry on music streaming economics has published all the written evidence submitted by musicians, industry bodies and other interested parties. Label body, the BPI and the IFPI, drew the committee’s attention to the problem of piracy agreeing that “digital growth has benefited all participants in the value chain”, but “advertising-funded and user upload platforms seriously undervalue the music content on their platforms.”
A joint statement from FAC, The Ivors Academy, MMF, MPG and the MU put forth “fundamental values” while music streaming including putting a higher value on the songwriter, checking the dominance of major music corporations and ensuring equitable algorithms on streaming sites. BMG even went on to propose a new system which entitled artists to receive a higher cut from their recordings on streaming platforms. Similarly, The Music Managers Forum and Featured Artists Coalition brought attention to the lack of transparency in lump sum payments by streaming platforms, proposing codification of deal level transparency into the Copyright Act.
On the other hand, Music Publishers Association and AIM were against the unnecessary regulation of the music industry and advocated freely negotiated contracts between songwriters and music publishers. Finally, Madness requested the committee to look into the active / “lean in” vs passive / “lean back” model, while advocating an equitable mode of remuneration for online music streaming.
Authored and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Aaditi Pradeep (Legal Intern)
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