Zoom considering Legal Action against Jio Meet, Travis Scott Faces Infringement Lawsuit, Internet Archive Sued by Publishers, Twitter removes Trump Campaign’s George Floyd Tweets, Market Flooded with Fake Branded Masks and Writer of ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ Accused of Plagiarism.
Zoom considering Legal Action against Jio Meet
Jio Meet is the new video conferencing application launched by Jio Platforms, which is part of the Indian conglomerate company, Reliance Industries Limited. After the recent launch, Jio Meet was compared to the already popular video conferencing app, Zoom, because of the close resemblance of the presentation and interface of both these apps. Amid the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Zoom became well known for its video conferencing and other related features and services, which were in high demand by educational institutions and companies, since working from home became mandatory.
However, Zoom’s representative stated that they were shocked to see the extent of similarity between both the apps and that they have been consulting with their legal team to determine right way forward to resolve this issue.
Travis Scott Faces Infringement Lawsuit
Musicians and producers Olivier Bassil, Benjamin Lasnier and Lukas Benjamin Leth, have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against rapper, Travis Scott for his hit song, ‘Highest in the Room’. The lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California. As per the claims in the lawsuit, Scott has used a melody in his song, that is an allegedly plagiarised version of the guitar melody from the song ‘Cartier’, which was composed by Bassil, Lasnier and Benjamin. Apart from Scott, the co-writers and producers of Highest in the Room have also been included as co-defendants in the lawsuit.
The song Cartier, was recorded and subsequently registered with the United States Copyright Office in the year 2019. The lawsuit also claims that, prior to the release of Scott’s song, Cartier, had been emailed to one of the producers of Highest in the Room. The three musicians are now suing “for actual damages and profits and want the defendants to be held “jointly and severally liable for actual damages, as well as for each other’s profits as practical partners”.
Internet Archive Sued by Publishers
The Internet Archive (IA), which is a non-profit American digital library, recently announced that it would be creating a “National Emergency Library”, providing digitized copies of books, to help cope with the present pandemic. Since IA was making these books available to the public without the prior consent of the respective authors, several writers, are now outraged and have filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against IA. The lawsuit, which was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, includes some of the largest publishing houses in the US, as plaintiffs, namely, John Wiley & Sons, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins and Penguin Random House. The lawsuit claims that IA has engaged in wilful mass copyright infringement and the through this lawsuit, the plaintiffs are trying to block the non-profit group’s operations and recover damages for scores of allegedly infringed works.
While responding to the lawsuit, IA however, stated that, by acquiring and lending books, like libraries do, IA is supporting publishers, authors and readers and added that this lawsuit only hinders IA’s National Emergency Library initiative and does not help anyone.
Twitter removes Trump Campaign’s George Floyd Tweets
Two of US President, Donald Trump’s re-election campaign profiles on Twitter, namely, Team Trump and Trump War Room, had posted a video clip that paid tribute to George Floyd. The video consisted of a speech that was narrated by the President Trump. Soon after these videos were posted Twitter had to flag them for copyright infringement due to complaints received under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
This complaint was reviewed by the Harvard University’s Lumen Database, which is a third-party research group that provides its services to Twitter, to handle cease and desist letters. These tweets were later re- tweeted by Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr., but eventually the videos attached in the tweets were disabled in response to the complaint.
Market Flooded with Fake Branded Masks
One of the several precautions that we have been asked to take, with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, is to wear masks when we go out and interact with people. Unfortunately, some people have seen this as an opportunity to make money by duping people into buying fake masks with logos and trademarks of brands like, Nike, Amul, Swiggy, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas, including some characters from the Disney and Marvel Universe.
Some of these companies have addressed the matter by taking legal action. Tommy Hilfiger, has filed cases in the Delhi High Court against two manufacturers in Tamil Nadu for printing masks with its brand logo and name and received an ad-interim injunction from the court.
Writer of ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ Accused of Plagiarism
Juhi Chaturvedi, the writer of the recently released film, has been accused of plagiarising the film’s script. As per the legal notice the story was originally titled ’16 Mohandas Lane’ and was submitted in a contest called ‘Cinestaan India’s Storyteller Script Contest’, where Juhi Chaturvedi was one of the jury members. The notice which was sent by Akira Agarwal, states that his father had submitted the script in competition and that Juhi being a jury member had access to the script.
Following this Juhi was asked by the Screenwriters Association (SWA), to submit her script, however, she failed to do so and denied that she ever had access to the script. Juhi has stated that her concept for the film had been registered much before the competition was held. Following this the SWA, ruled in favour of Juhi and dismissed the claims made in the legal notice.
Authored and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels)
The Copyright Law News Bulletin is brought to you jointly by the Entertainment 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: Copyright Law News
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