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Breach of Confidence Tag

BananaIP Counsels > Posts tagged "Breach of Confidence"

Ideas, Concepts, Scripts & Stories – Protecting Ideas in the Entertainment Industry Part V

This Image depicts a seedling is being protected by two hands on it This Image is relevant as the article deals with the Copyrights and protection of ideas. Click on this Image for more Information.

Last week, we discussed the Urmi Juvekar Chiang caseToday we will look at the case of (1) Mr. Anil Gupta and (2) Another. vs. (1) Mr. Kunal Dasgupta and (2) Others – A landmark case, indeed, in the area of protecting ideas and concepts. This case elucidates the dos and don’ts of Idea Protection and Breach of Confidence in the Entertainment Industry.

Plaintiff No. 1 – a Media Consultant

Defendant No. 2 – a Television Production House

It is the case of the Plaintiff that he conceived the idea of producing a reality television programme containing the process of matchmaking to the point of actual spouse selection in which real everyday ordinary people would participate before a Television audience. The Plaintiff had devised a novel concept for a TV show in which it would be the prerogative of a woman to select a groom from a variety of suitors. They had even decided to name the concept ‘Swayamvar’, knowing well that a large number of people would associate the name with the idea of a woman selecting a groom in a public forum and that it would create the necessary instantaneous recall and recognition of the mythological Swayamvar, giving the programme a head-start.

Ideas, Concepts, Scripts & Stories – Protecting Ideas in the Entertainment Industry Part IV

This Image depicts a seedling is being protected by two hands on it This Image is relevant as the article deals with the Copyrights and protection of ideas. Click on this Image for more Information.

In this article we will discuss another case about how to protect ideas in the Entertainment Industry. Just to recap the previous posts in this series can be found here, here and here.

Urmi Juvekar Chiang, Indian Inhabitant, Mumbai vs. (1) Global Broadcast News Limited, Uttar Pradesh; (2) Network 18 Fincap Private Limited, Uttar Pradesh

The Plaintiff, in this case, was a scriptwriter and she had written a concept for reality television for solving civic problems. She asserted that the programme would follow the chosen protagonists through the quagmire of bureaucracy and conflicting interests and destructive attitudes as they tried to solve a civic problem of their choice.

The Plaintiff sent her concept to a certain Mrs. Rasika Tyagi (one of the Defendants). She and a person who agreed to act as her producer, Mr. Arjun Gauirsaria, had a detailed discussion with the Defendants about the concept that the Plaintiff had written. The Defendants, after some discussion did not follow up on the negotiations. Soon enough, the Plaintiff was in for a shock to see that a television programme with a concept very similar to theirs, was being telecast by the Defendants’ channel.

Ideas, Concepts, Scripts & Stories – Protecting Ideas in the Entertainment Industry Part III

This Image depicts a seedling is being protected by two hands on it This Image is relevant as the article deals with the Copyrights and protection of ideas. Click on this Image for more Information.

In continuation to our previous discussion on how to protect ideas in the entertainment industry, the upcoming posts in the series will discuss landmark cases and analyse how Courts consider Breach of Confidentiality claims. Previous posts in the series may be accessed here and here.

The first of these cases is Zee Telefilms Limited and Another vs. Sundial Communications Private Limited and Others:

This suit was brought by the Plaintiffs alleging Breach of Confidence in the original concept developed by the Plaintiffs and the misuse of confidential information. The Plaintiff’s was a company engaged in the business of television programming, video programming, multimedia programming, feature films, television serial production etc. They were primarily involved in coming up with various creative concepts for television programmes, which were registered with the Film Writers’ Association. Going by this trend, the Plaintiffs worked on various concepts and came up with a concept titled ‘Kanhaiyya’.

Ideas, Concepts, Scripts & Stories – Protecting Ideas in the Entertainment Industry Part II

This Image depicts the clip art of 'This is the best idea i've heard all decade. This Image is relevant as the article deals with the Protecting Ideas in Entertainment Industry. Click on this Image for more Information.

This post was first published on June 25th, 2014.

 

We reviewed the existing scenario in the entertainment industry with respect to the protection of ideas, in my previous post – how to protect ideas. Before we move on to discuss the tool that can be used to protect original ideas/concepts that are not expressed in a tangible form, let us take a look at the practices followed in the entertainment industry by both the generator and the receiver of ideas. Writers submitting concepts and scripts to producers, or setting up meetings with them, with hope of monetary benefits and production of their ideas/concepts, is a general practice in the entertainment industry. The burden is on the supplier of an idea (writer/author) to take necessary measures in order to claim legal rights over his original idea. A man who reveals his idea without having first made a bargain has no one to blame but himself for the loss of his bargaining power.

The law expects an express agreement to be formed before there could be any liability. Hence, the first thing the idea giver should do is to enter into a contract, binding himself and the receiving party. Having a contract protects both the writer and the party to which the idea/concept is disclosed. The contract which we are referring to here is the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA).

Ideas, Concepts, Scripts & Stories – Protecting Ideas in the Entertainment Industry Part I

This Image depicts the clip art of 'This is the best idea i've heard all decade. This Image is relevant as the article deals with the Protecting Ideas in Entertainment Industry. Click on this Image for more Information.

An idea may be defined as a thought, which cannot be seen, touched or heard. In other words, an idea is entirely intangible in nature. Ideas can be kept secret or commercially exploited, but to gain protection, they need to satisfy the threshold of originality and novelty. Even though ideas act as catalysts for various Intellectual Property protections, by themselves, they are not qualified to obtain protection. Since an idea, taken at face value, does not fulfill the requirements of protection, it allows more than one person to create work (tangible) based on the same idea. Infringement occurs only when an expression of an idea by one person is copied by another.

A long standing principle is that Copyright Laws protect the expression of ideas and Patent Laws protect inventions. Both these tools that protect ideas necessitate the idea to take a material form or a fixed embodiment. Unless an idea, regardless of how good or bad it is, is expressed in a tangible form, it cannot be protected. In other words, expressions are what qualify protection under the Copyright Law.

So, how then, are ideas that do not meet this requirement, protected?

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