Latest Copyright Cases – 2021 – Part 5

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M/s. Sun TV Network Ltd. v. M/s. Nitin Productions & Anr

Defendant Nitin Productions assigned the copyright of the film “HUDUGAATA” in favour of the Plaintiff after receipt of the agreed consideration. By virtue of the agreement, the Plaintiff became the absolute copyright owner of the aforementioned film which included satellite rights, radio rights and other similar rights perpetually. However, Defendant M/s. Public TV, telecast songs from the film without obtaining prior permission. The Plaintiff, which held the copyright of both digital and negative format of the film, alleged that the Defendant had illicitly telecast the songs of the film by making use of pirated CDs. After perusing the exhibits submitted, the High Court of Madras found a valid agreement and also found that the Defendant made use of pirated CDs. In an ex-parte hearing, the Court declared that the Plaintiff was the exclusive copyright holder of the film and granted a permanent injunction against the Defendants, as they had no right to telecast the film or any part thereof.

Citation: Narendra M/s. Sun TV Network Ltd. v. M/s. Nitin Productions & Anr. on 7th September, 2021, available at: M/s. Sun TV Network Ltd. v. M/s. Nitin Productions & Anr. last visited on 11th October, 2021.

 

M/s. Sun TV Network Ltd. v. Mr. B.V. Ravindranath & Anr.

The producers assigned the copyright over the Kannada film ‘JEEVA’ to the Defendant Mr. B.V. Ravindranath, who in turn assigned the same in favour of the Plaintiff. By virtue of the agreement, the Plaintiff became the absolute copyright owner of the aforementioned film which included broadcasting via satellite, radio and other similar platforms perpetually. However, Defendant M/s. Public TV, telecast a song from the film without obtaining prior permission from the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff alleged that the defendant had illicitly telecast songs of the film using pirated copies. The High Court of Madras inspected the exhibits put forth by the Plaintiff which included the assignment agreement and pirated CD of the film. The court found that the assignment agreement was valid, and also found the Defendant to have made use of pirated copies of the film. In the ex-parte hearing, the Court declared that the Plaintiff was the exclusive copyright holder of the film and granted permanent injunction against the Defendants, prohibiting them from telecasting the film or any part of it on their channel.

Citation: M/s. Sun TV Network Ltd. v. Mr. B.V. Ravindranath & Anr. on 7th September, 2021, available at M/s. Sun TV Network Ltd. v. Mr. B.V. Ravindranath & Anr. last visited on 11th October, 2021.

M/s Sun TV Network Ltd. v. Mr. P. Ramesh

The producer of the film, M/s Megha Movies, assigned the entire copyrights for a Kannada film in favour of Defendant No. 1 (P. Ramesh) on October 11th, 2012, who in turn passed on the copyrights permanently to the Plaintiff after 19 days. Thus, the Plaintiff became absolute owner of copyright for the Kannada film titled “EDEGARIKE” to broadcast it through any satellite system, broadcasting service, mode of transmission. or any form of communication. Defendant No. 2, M/s Public TV, telecast songs from the film in March 2016. The Plaintiff argued that it was the exclusive copyright holder for negatives and digital format of the movie, and that Defendant No. 2 was not allowed to exploit the film partially or fully without paying licensing fee or seeking permission. The relief of declaration was granted by the Madras High Court because the assignment deed in favour of the Defendant No. 1 from the first owner (producer) and further assignment towards Plaintiff by the 1st Defendant showed that the Plaintiff had full copyrights for the film. Defendant No. 2 also did not approach the Court to justify release of the pirated version of the song made on CD through television without the permission of the copyright holder (Plaintiff), thus relief of permanent injunction (ex-parte order) was granted by the Court in favour of the Plaintiff.


Citation: M/s Sun TV Network Ltd. vs Mr. P. Ramesh, Decided by The Madras High Court on 7th September, 2021, available at M/s Sun TV Network Ltd. v. Mr. P. Ramesh, last visited on 11th October, 2021.

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