Delhi HC Stays Sale of Book on Ramdev Until ‘Defamatory’ Parts Are Removed, Amazon Sued for Copyright Infringement by the Estate of Mendieta, Lisa Curry’s Daughter Demands Apology from Magazines after Copyright Breach, New Trial Ordered in Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Suit, Publishers Escalate Legal Battle Against Research Gate, Indian Company Gets Licensing, Merchandising Rights of Charlie Chaplin, Angry Birds Bolsters Licensing Ahead of Sequel, Tom Skerritt’s “Heyou” Media to Partner with Terry Rossio and Chamaeleon Productions on Comedy Series, “Turbo Dates”.


The Copyright Bargain is a balance between protection for the artist and rights for the consumer.
Robin Gross


There is a reasonable increase of 10% in the total number of copyright applications filed last week as compared to the applications filed in the previous week. A total of 333 applications were filed for copyright registration during the last week. Most of the applications were filed for literary work and artistic work. Applications for sound recordings increase substantially from 8 to 26.

S. No Types of Work Number of Applications filed in the Previous Week
(17th September to 23rd September, 2018)
Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week
(24th September to 30th September, 2018)
Change Percent Change
1. Literary Work 177 200 23 Increase of 13%
2. Musical Work 8 5 3 Decrease of 38%
3. Artistic Work 74 74 0 No Change
4. Cinematograph Film 10 14 4 Increase of 40%
5. Sound Recording 8 26 18 Increase of 225%
6. Software 27 14 10 Decrease of 42%
Total 304 333 Increase of 10%


Delhi HC Stays Sale of Book on Ramdev Until ‘Defamatory’ Parts Are Removed

The Delhi High Court recently restrained the publication and sale of a book about yoga guru Ramdev, stating that certain portions of the book were defamatory to him. The judge observed that the right to freedom of speech and expression does not permit using defamatory insinuations against the yoga guru.
Ramdev had filed a petition against a local court’s order lifting the ban on “Godman to Tycoon: The Untold Story of Baba Ramdev”. The book, written by Priyanka Pathak and published by  Juggernaut Books, investigates the past of the yoga evangelist and businessman, whose business interests currently include the Patanjali Group, and earlier included the “Astha TV” channel. Among other subjects, it also follows the trail of the death and disappearance of people closely connected with Ramdev.
The court ordered the deletion of references to the disappearance of Swami Shankar Dev and the murder of Swami Yogananda, stating that there was no evidence to support Ramdev’s connection to the two matters.


Amazon Sued for Copyright Infringement by the Estate of Mendieta

Amazon Studios had been sued in a Seattle court over the film “Suspiria” by the estate of Ana Mendieta, which has alleged that it is copied from the late artist’s work. The suit alleges that the film and the trailer used images which were derived from two of Mendieta’s pieces from the 1970s, “Rape Scene” and “Untitled (Silueta Series, Mexico)”. Mendieta’s estate is seeking damages and a restraining order to bar Amazon from using the infringing images.
Mendieta was a Cuban-American artist, known for addressing themes of violence against women, and for using images of nature to create silhouettes of her body. Presently, her estate is managed by her sister, Raquelin Mendieta, and her niece, Raquel Cecilia Mendieta, who allow her work to be reproduced for scholarly purposes, but not for commercial use. The estate sent a cease and desist letter to Amazon in July. Some of the images had been removed from the film, but it has also been alleged that eight other images also bore similarities to Mendieta’s work.

Lisa Curry’s Daughter Demands Apology from Magazines after Copyright Breach

Morgan Gruell, the daughter of Aussie sports stars Grant Kerry and Lisa Curry has accused Bauer’s magazine “Women’s Day” and Pacific’s magazine “New Idea” of copyright breach for publishing photos of her baby without any prior consent, demanding an apology and compensation for the breach caused.
Woman’s Day editor-in-chief Fiona Connolly stated that their usage of images is permitted by Australian copyright law and as the news from Morgan’s high profile family is of great interest to readers, the magazine used the photograph displayed by Morgan on her public Instagram account. In reply, Lisa Curry stated that the issue is the usage of Morgan’s son, her grandson, image without his parents’ permission on the front cover of a magazine in a completely ridiculous storyline for profit.

New Trial Ordered in Led Zeppelin ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Copyright Suit

A U.S. appeals court on Friday ordered a new trial in a lawsuit accusing legendary rock band Led Zeppelin of copying an obscure 1960s instrumental for the intro to its classic 1971 rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven.”
A trustee for the estate of late Spirit guitarist Randy Wolfe had filed the law suit against Led Zeppelin in 2015. A federal court jury in Los Angeles found Led Zeppelin did not copy the famous riff from the song “Taurus” by the band Spirit. But a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the lower court judge provided erroneous jury instructions and sent the case back to the court for another trial.

Publishers Escalate Legal Battle Against Research Gate

American Chemical Society and Elsevier, two large academic publishers, launched a second legal battle against the Berlin-based social networking site Research Gate, and this time not in Europe, but in the U.S for massive infringement of peer-reviewed, published journal articles.
Research Gate, a popular for-profit academic social network that makes it easy to find and download research papers, is facing increasing pressure from publishers to change the way it operates. They have also been accused of illegally obtaining and distributing research papers protected by copyright law.
The publishers have demanded for compensation up to $150,000 for each infringed work per the statutory limits permitted by US laws, totaling $430 million.


Indian Company Gets Licensing, Merchandising Rights of Charlie Chaplin

Animation International India has gotten the licensing and merchandising rights of comic legend Charlie Chaplin. This will help his fans get their hands on a wide range of products based on the character he played. The company Director Nitin Kalra stated “Chaplin is a dream come true for our team. We have all grown up seeing him, loving him and wanting a piece of him. Now that chance has come for us to not just create some innovative merchandise around Chaplin, but also to share it with his fans.”
Animation International India, part of the four-decade-old Animation International Limited (Hong Kong), has been instrumental in launching the licensing programs for Marvel, Hello Kitty and many other iconic brands in India over the last 14 years.

Angry Birds Bolsters Licensing Ahead of Sequel

Finland’s Rovio Entertainment, the maker of Angry Birds, has inked multiple North American licensing deals leading up to the 2019 release of The Angry Birds Movie 2. California-based toy company Maisto, a subsidiary of Hong Kong’s May Cheong Group, will develop pull-back toy cars, launcher sets, R/C vehicles and track sets. Edukie, previously known as BanBao, is working on a range of construction toys. Both lines are expected to arrive at retailers in early 2019.
These new licensees in the play space join global master toy partner Jazwares, appointed earlier this month, as well as other recently inked partners including Party City (party goods), Bentex Group (swimwear), Brown Trout (calendars), Decopac (cake decorating), FAB (backpacks and lunch kits), Handcraft Manufacturing (apparel), Hybrid Promotions (apparel), Inkology (stationery), Komar Kids (sleepwear), Radz II (novelty candy dispensers), Ranir (hygiene), Surprise Drinks (flavored water), Toy Factory (plush) and Ziegenfelder Company (ice pops).

Tom Skerritt’s “Heyou” Media to Partner with Terry Rossio and Chamaeleon Productions on Comedy Series, “Turbo Dates”

Seattle’s Heyou Media Holdings, Inc., a digital cross-platform visual entertainment media company announced that it has signed an agreement with acclaimed screenwriter Terry Rossio and his company, Chamaeleon Productions of Los Angeles which specializes in short films, film series and theatrical features. Founded by Emmy winning actor, writer and filmmaker, Tom Skerritt, Heyou Media develops and distributes cross-platform visual entertainment, including long-form features and series, music, short-form video, web series, virtual reality, etc. The two companies will collaborate to produce and distribute a new series called “Turbo Dates,” from series creator Jocelyn Stamat, which is a “different” take on dating, with a planned release across several digital entertainment platforms.


An idea or a concept for a show, for ex. a game show, is not protectable under copyright.  The know-how in making such a show is protectable as a trade secret.  However what is protectable under copyright is the audio visual recording as well as the music for the show.

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]

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