CAT Questions Copyright Dispute, Fox Television Series “Empire” Defeats Copyright Infringement Appeal, Wolves Company Sued for Wolf Copyright Infringement, Amazon’s Push for Original Content, MoviePass Teams up with PostMates.
COPYRIGHT QUOTE OF THE WEEK
We live in a world where value of creativity is measured by commercial success, and copyrights are mere instruments of financial benefit, not creative progress”
― Kalyan C. Kankanala, Fun IP, Fundamentals of Intellectual Property
INDIAN COPYRIGHT STATISTICS
There is an increase of 16% in the total number of copyright applications filed this week as compared to the applications filed last week. A total of 338 applications were filed for copyright registration during the last week. Most of the applications were filed for literary and artistic works.
|S. No||Types of Work||Number of Applications filed in the Previous Week
(13th August to 19th August, 2018)
|Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week
(20th August to 26th August, 2018)
|1.||Literary Work||138||191||53||Increase of 38%|
|2.||Musical Work||4||10||6||Increase of 150%|
|3.||Artistic Work||111||94||17||Decrease of 15%|
|4.||Cinematograph Film||12||9||3||Decrease of 25%|
|5.||Sound Recording||5||17||12||Increase of 240%|
|6.||Software||21||17||4||Decrease of 19%|
INDIAN COPYRIGHT NEWS
CAT Questions Copyright Dispute
In a decision this month, the Madras High Court held in favour of the Fermat Education Coaching Institute, in a dispute over the questions formulated by the institute. Two hundred questions created by Fermat were part of the material provided by the Unacademy online platform. Despite being requested to take down the questions due to copyright infringement, Unacademy failed to comply with this request.
On its part, Unacademy claimed that it was merely an intermediary under the Information Technology Act, and therefore was not liable for copyright infringement. However, the court held that Unacademy was not merely an intermediary, as it did upload content on its own, and Unacademy had the power to reject, edit and modify content posted by its users (either teachers or students). The court came to this conclusion based on the terms and conditions of use found on Unacademy’s platform. Further, on the issue of fair use, the court held that Unacademy was a business venture and its use did not constitute “teaching” as per the Copyright Act.
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT NEWS UPDATE
Fox Television Series “Empire” Defeats Copyright Infringement Appeal
In the copyright infringement suit filed by former “The Cosby Show” actor-turned-writer Clayton Prince Tanksley, against Lee Daniels, the producer of Fox television series “Empire” for it being a replica of his copyrighted work, i.e. three-episode pilot series about an African – American record. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals passed an order in favor of “Empire” in the lawsuit, stating that it bears no substantial similarity.
Wolves Company Sued for Wolf Copyright Infringement
Peter Davies, a retired businessman sues Wolves company for copyright infringement over the club’s wolf head logo. He claims that he had produced a series of geometrically designed animal head drawings in pencil in 1961, which was displayed for months in a local art competition, one of which bears a striking resemblance to the Wolves club crest. He alleged that the company officials would have visited the competition and copied the same as their logo. He claimed that he wrote to the club to complain in the 1970s but received no reply, therefore until his recent discovery of preparatory sketches that he made for the lost competition entry, he thought he had no evidence to prove his case. Therefore, he is initiating the copyright infringement suit in 2018.
MERCHANDISING AND LICENSING NEWS
Amazon’s Push for Original Content
Amazon is in talks with major studios, including Sony and Paramount, to co-produce original content for Amazon’s Prime platforms. No agreements have been signed yet, and Amazon is yet to reveal which studios it has approached or is considering teaming up with. However, with the aggressive push Amazon is making into content production, studios could view this as an opportunity to diversify their offerings and take their content to a wider audience. On the other hand, Amazon stands to benefit greatly from the vast portfolio of intellectual property that major studios have built up over the years, and also gain viewership for direct releases on the Prime platform.
MoviePass Teams up with PostMates
US movie-theater subscription service MoviePass, and on-demand delivery service Postmates announced this week that they were partnering to provide more benefits to MoviePass subscribers. MoviePass will promote Postmates within its app and provide members with Postmates delivery credits, a week-long free trial of the Postmates unlimited subscription service, and a credit toward one month of MoviePass.
Previous MoviePass brand partners include iHeartMedia, Fandor, Costco and others. Additionally, this relationship furthers MoviePass’ ongoing effort to develop non-subscription-based revenue channels. This effort is part of Moviepass’ long-term growth strategy, and is expected to increase the value of its subscription for members.
An artistic work which can serve as a trademark logo can also be protected by copyrights. Before applying for a copyright for such works, an advance approval by the Trademark Office in India is required.
Author: BIP’s Copyright and Entertainment Law Attorneys
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]