Ilaiyaraaja’s Royalty Claim, copyright infringement by T-Pain, Motorola Adds Copyright Infringement, Viacom 18 new series with Gates Foundation and more

Court Summons Ronnie Screwvala for Copyright Violation, Artistes Seek Clarity on Ilaiyaraaja’s Royalty Claims, T-Pain’s Song off YouTube After Infringement Claims, Alfonso Ribeiro Sues Fortnite for Stealing the ‘Carlton’ Dance, Motorola Adds Copyright Infringement Claim to Suit Against Hytera, Petition Against EU Article 13 Gets 4 Million Signatures, CJ ENM Becomes Warner Brothers’ Exclusive Licensing Agent in Korea, Viacom18 to Launch Series on Sanitation with Gates Foundation.


“We have a massive system to regulate creativity. A massive system of lawyers regulating creativity as copyright law has expanded in unrecognizable forms, going from a regulation of publishing to a regulation of copying.”  – Lawrence Lessig


There is an increase of 11% in the total number of copyright applications filed last week as compared to the previous week. A total of 433 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 Past Week
(3rd December 2018 to 9th December, 2018)
Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week
(10th December 2018 to 16th   December, 2018)
Change Percentage Change
1. Literary Work 195 215 20 Increase of 10%
2. Musical Work 3 4 1 Increase of 33%
3. Artistic Work 128 163 35 Increase of 27%
4. Cinematograph Film 3 4 1 Increase of 33%
5. Sound Recording 14 6 8 Decrease of 57%
6. Software 48 41 7 Decrease of 15%
Total 391 433 42 Increase of 11%


Court Summons Ronnie Screwvala for Copyright Violation

On Wednesday, a Delhi court issued a summons to filmmaker Ronnie Screwvala for alleged copyright violations in his upcoming film ‘Uri: The Surgical Strike’. The summons requires Screwvala and the film’s writer and director Aditya Dhar to appear before the court on January 3rd, 2019. The civil suit, filed by author, Nitin A. Gokhale, alleges that the film was based on his book ‘Securing India-The Modi Way, Pathankot, Surgical Strikes and More’ without his permission. In his complaint, he has sought a permanent injunction against screening the film without his consent, and requiring the filmmaker to delete the literary content of the book from the film. He claims that he is willing to negotiate if the filmmakers make an offer for a license to use the contents of his book. The movie is scheduled to be released on January 11th, 2019.

Artistes Seek Clarity on Ilaiyaraaja’s Royalty Claims

Following recent claims by music director Ilaiyaraaja that every musician singing or performing his songs will have to pay a royalty amount to him, artistes are seeking clarity on the legality of his claim. In a recent announcement, Ilaiyaraaja had said that the Cine Musicians’ Association would regulate and collect his royalty amount henceforth. Stage artiste Lakshman of Chennai’s famed music troupe Lakshman Sruthi, has said that only the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) has the right to collect royalty amounts. He called for a regulation of the amount of royalty and the harmonization of the royalty collection process, claiming that IPRS is irregular in enforcing rights and collecting payments. He also pointed out discrepancies in the claims by IPRS and Ilaiyraaja on issues like performances at family functions. While Ilaiyaraaja has said that artistes need not pay to perform his songs if they are singing at weddings and other such family functions, IPRS requires a license and royalty payment for such events as well.


T-Pain’s Song off YouTube After Infringement Claims

“That’s Yo Money”, the latest song released by internationally acclaimed American rapper T-Pain, has been taken down by YouTube from its platform following claims of copyright infringement by the team behind the film Aashiqui 2. Although it is not known who filed the claim leading to the removal of the video from YouTube, the director and music composer of the movie expressed on Twitter that the rap song sampled the hit “Tum Hi Ho” without permission. T-Pain responded on Twitter, saying he had no idea the track was sampled from elsewhere as he did not produce the song, and that the music labels would be in contact.

Alfonso Ribeiro Sues Fortnite for Stealing the ‘Carlton’ Dance

Alfonso Ribeiro, who starred in the tv show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”, is suing Epic Games for allegedly using his signature “Carlton” dance without permission in Fortnite. Ribeiro claims that the quirky dance, which made his character Carlton Banks quite popular, has now also increased the popularity of the video game and downloadable content in the games. A statement issued by Ribeiro’s lawyer said that Ribeiro was seeking a fair and reasonable share of the profits Epic Games has earned by using his iconic image and moves in Fortnite, and was also requesting that Epic cease all use of his signature dance. A few days ago, Rapper 2 Milly has also filed a suit against Epic games for similar unauthorized use of a dance move.

Motorola Adds Copyright Infringement Claim to Suit Against Hytera

In a suit filed in an Australian court, Motorola Solutions filed a new claim against Hytera Communications for copyright infringement. Motorola asserts that Hytera unlawfully copied Motorola Solutions’ MotoTRBO source code into Hytera’s Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) equipment, thereby infringing and continuing to infringe Motorola Solutions’ copyright in violation of Australian copyright laws. In its claim, filed against the use of this code in Hytera’s so-called i-Series product line, Motorola is seeking damages or an account of profits, and an injunction preventing the importation or sale in Australia of all Hytera products using the code, and additional relief deemed appropriate by the court.
Motorola has earlier filed patent infringement proceedings against Hytera in the Federal Court of Australia in 2017, asserting that certain Hytera DMR products offered in Australia infringe three of Motorola Solutions’ Australian patents. Motorola also has patent infringement, copyright infringement and trade secret theft lawsuits against Hytera pending in an Illinois Court in the US.

Petition Against EU Article 13 Gets 4 Million Signatures

Last week, a petition with more than 4 million signatures was delivered to the European Parliament urging the legislators to amend Article 13, which mandates content verification by service providers. This petition, already the largest on, follows protests by the music industry, including by Universal Music Group, against the wording of the provision. Protests have been largely centered on the inability of smaller companies to afford the algorithmic copyright filters, leading to consolidation of power by larger players like Google. Protestors are also concerned that the filters could involuntarily ‘censor’ more legitimate content, due to mistakes with issues like fair use.


CJ ENM Becomes Warner Brothers’ Exclusive Licensing Agent in Korea

Hollywood film studio Warner Brothers has chosen CJ ENM as its exclusive licensing agent in Korea, for releasing collaboration products, selling consumer-linked products, and carrying out marketing activities. CJ ENM will be handling negotiations for the studio’s classic animations like “Looney Tunes,” “Tom & Jerry,” and “Scooby Doo,” and various releases in the “Justice League” and “Harry Potter” franchises. The agency is also planning to release various products for fashion, household items, kids and young adults in early 2019, based on the “Harry Potter” and “Fantastic Beasts” series.

Viacom18 to Launch Series on Sanitation with Gates Foundation

Entertainment major Viacom18, in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and BBC Media Action, is set to create a general entertainment fiction series encouraging better urban sanitation. The 26-episode series titled ‘Navrangi Re!’ will launch in January 2019 and will be aired on Viacom18’s Hindi channel Rishtey, Gujarati channel Colors Gujarati, Odia channel Colors Odia, and on the digital platform Voot. The show is funded by the philanthropic Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, created by development communications specialists BBC Media Action, and is being produced by Swastik Productions. This is the first time that Gates Foundation has partnered with a satellite television network in India.


A copyright society, usually an industry organization representing a group of industry artists and professional such as the IPRS which represents authors, composers and publishers of music, will collect royalties on behalf of its members for the use of their works.  To be member of such societies and have them collect royalties on your behalf is your choice and not mandatory.

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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