Weekly Copyright News: Akshay Kumar’s Upcoming Film in Trouble, Australia’s Copyright Amendment Bill 2018, 2.0 Filter on Facebook, Spotify to Launch in India, Shutterstock Team-up with Greenlight and More
Telcos Petition Censor Board to Suspend Release of 2.0, Copyright Infringement Suit Halts Akshay Kumar’s Mission Mangal, Cinefil Applies for Registration as Copyright Society, Warner Bros. Settle Sabrina Infringement with Satanic Temple, Australia’s Copyright Amendment Bill 2018 Expands Piracy Laws, Malaysian Developer Sues Fox and Disney, Akshay Kumar Releases Special 2.0 Filter on Facebook, Spotify to Launch in India in the Next six Months, Shutterstock Simplifies Photo Licensing, Discover Media Lab Expands International Partnerships.
COPYRIGHT QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Monitoring and taking down infringing digital content is the key to internet/digital licensing success. -Dr. Kalyan C Kankanala
INDIAN COPYRIGHT STATISTICS
There is a decrease of 27% in the total number of copyright applications filed last week as compared to the previous week. A total of 327 applications were filed for copyright registration during the last week. The majority of applications were filed for literary works and artistic works.
|S. No||Type of Work||Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week
(12th November 2018 to 18th November, 2018)
|Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week
(19th November 2018 to 25th November, 2018)
|1.||Literary Work||265||196||69||Decrease of 26%|
|2.||Musical Work||5||6||1||Decrease of 20%|
|3.||Artistic Work||97||72||25||Decrease of 26%|
|4.||Cinematograph Film||5||5||0||No change|
|5.||Sound Recording||24||11||13||Decrease of 54%|
|6.||Software||51||37||14||Decrease of 27%|
|Total||447||327||120||Decrease of 27%|
INDIAN COPYRIGHT NEWS
Telcos Petition Censor Board to Suspend Release of 2.0
Just two days before the release of the Rajinikanth Akshay Kumar-starrer ‘2.0’, the film is in the midst of a war between telecom companies and the producers. The film seems to have ruffled mobile phone and tower companies, who claim that the film spreads “misinformation” about the impact of mobile phones and towers, and thus fear it will hit their business.
The Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) has petitioned the censor board to revoke the film’s certification, and suspend its exhibition, stating that the movie and its promotional videos defame mobile phones and mobile towers. 2.0, directed by filmmaker S. Shankar, is a sequel to the 2010 mega-hit Robot, starring Rajinikanth as ‘Chitti’.
Copyright Infringement Suit Halts Akshay Kumar’s Mission Mangal
A lawsuit has been filed against the producers of Akshay Kumar’s upcoming film Mission Mangal for allegedly borrowing from Radha Bhardwaj’s screenplay. Bhardwaj’s screenplay is registered in both the US and India, and she has completed shooting for her film Space MOMs based on the same. She claims that she had shared her screenplay with Atul Kasbekar’s studio, Ellipsis Entertainment, in 2016 under a non-disclosure agreement. Kasbekar then shared the details of the screenplay with Vidya Balan, who is currently starring in the film. Bhardwaj has claimed breach of the non-disclosure agreement and copyright infringement of her screenplay and filed for an injunction to prevent the release of the film. She states that the movie Mission Mangal takes a women-centric approach to a mission, which has been taken right out of her screenplay, and is now being rushed into production, interfering with the commercial prospects of her film.
Cinefil Applies for Registration as Copyright Society
The Copyright Office has issued a notice dated 22.11.2018, communicating that Cinefil Producers Performance Limited, has applied for registration as a Copyright Society with respect to Cinematograph Film works, under Section 33 of the Copyright Act, 1957.
The Copyright Office has invited objections/suggestions from the public, which may be submitted within 60 days from the date of publication of the notice by email or post.
The notice, along with Cinefil’s application, is available here.
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT NEWS UPDATE
Warner Bros. Settle Sabrina Infringement with Satanic Temple
Warner Bros. had revamped the popular 1996 Sabrina series on Netflix as The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. The series takes a darker approach than the originals series with elements of human sacrifice, cannibalism and dark magic. Satanic Temple claimed copyright infringement over the use of a statue of a goat headed deity which starkly resembles the deity Baphomet with Children created by the Temple to separate the Church from State. Temple contended that the depiction of the deity in the context of the TV Series associated with evil, dark magic and cannibalism could cause people to make wrong assumptions about the temple and its practices. The case could have potentially changed the way cultural symbols are depicted in films and TV Series, but, was settled between the parties in a confidential agreement.
Australia’s Copyright Amendment Bill 2018 Expands Piracy Laws
The Copyright Amendment (Online Infringement) Bill 2018 of Australia amends the piracy site-blocking laws. It increases the threshold to include those online sites which have the primary purpose or effect of infringing copyright. The liability of the search engines as well as media platforms has been increased, by mandating that infringing sites be blocked from search results. This was done to reduce the burden of evidence on the copyright owner seeking damages for infringement. This move of the Australian Parliament has been protested by media giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter as being too harsh and ‘far beyond reasonable.’ However, Australia’s Senate Standing Committee on Environment and Communications contends that the provisions of the Amendment are not overreaching and adequately protect the interests of the stakeholders.
Malaysian Developer Sues Fox and Disney
Malaysian developer Resorts World Genting (GENM) has sued Fox and Disney for terminating the licensing deal for a Fox World Theme Park in Malaysia. GENM has made a significant investment (an estimated amount of over USD 750 million) in Fox World and has been developing it since 2013. GENM contends that Fox defaulted at every stage, causing huge delays with the intention of coaxing GENM to renegotiate revenue and commission percentages. It is also alleged that Disney, which will soon own Fox, has pushed Fox to get out of the deal entirely. GENM has sued Fox and Disney for more than USD 1 billion in damages in a California Court.
MERCHANDISING AND LICENSING NEWS
Akshay Kumar Releases Special 2.0 Filter on Facebook
Ahead of Akshay Kumar’s Tamil debut 2.0 release, he has launched a special filter on Facebook. The filter portrays and allows users to try Akshay’s on-screen avatar, the mad scientist Dr. Richard. Akshay plays the lead antagonist against the legendary megastar Rajnikanth. The film releasing on 29th November, will see both the stars pair up for the first time ever on the silver screen.
Spotify to Launch in India in the Next 6 Months
Spotify, a leading US-based music streaming platform, is expected to launch in India in the next six months with offers of an extended free full-access trial period. In March, Spotify opened an office in Mumbai with 300 employees, but its attempts to acquire an Indian competitor have been unsuccessful. Thus, it is expected that it will now enter the Indian market on its own. Spotify had recently announced its launch in 12 new markets in the Middle East and North Africa, leaving its footprint in 78 markets in total.
Shutterstock Simplifies Photo Licensing
Shutterstock, a leading stock image platform, has teamed up with Greenlight, a rights and clearance agency, to facilitate easy and hassle-free licensing for creators. Through Greenlight, Shutterstock has secured permission to use the photos of famous personalities, historical icons, copyrights, trademarks and other IP rights for brand and advertising campaigns. These images and videos are then easily available for the customers to use and exploit for their own purposes, not just across the portfolio of icons represented and managed by Greenlight but for any picture or video covered by other third-party rights.
Discover Media Lab Expands International Partnerships
Kalmbach Media, a US-based media company, with its focus on growth and transformation, has formed a science-focused content studio called Discover Media Lab, a consumer magazine publishing company. It has decided to re-enter the national advertising market and establish an international licensing partnership. The content studio focuses on creating content on science and technology stories, films, animations, educational materials and virtual labs and distributing them across multiple platforms. Kalmbach has partnered with Barista Media for their advertising strategy and will work with Cue Ball to license Discover content and its brands in the “knowledge category.” The company is reportedly also considering acquisitions to expand its commercial reach.
Ashok Kumar orders or more commonly known as John Doe orders is a blanket court order that a producer can receive in advance of a film release requiring telcos and internet service providers to block websites that might illegally upload and host your film.
Author: BIP’s Copyright and Entertainment Law Attorneys
Led by Sanjeeth Hegde, Senior Partner, the entertainment law attorneys at BIP are among the well-known lawyers in the field. They work with clients such as Yash Raj Films, Dharma Productions, Ananda Audio, Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh, and Arka Media (Producer of Bahu Bali). BIP’s entertainment law team helps clients protect, manage and effectively license and merchandise their creative works such as films, music, brands and other content, to maximize financial returns.
The weekly copyright and entertainment law news initiative is a part of their pro bono work, and is aimed at spreading entertainment law awareness. You are free to share the news with appropriate attribution and backlink to the source.
If you have any questions, you may write to BIP’s Copyright and Entertainment Law Attorneys – [email protected]