WEEKLY COPYRIGHT NEWS: KASHMIR REMOVED FROM MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, IIFA ACCUSED OF PLAGIARISM, PIRACY CASES AGAINST COX, COPYRIGHT CASE SETTLED BY GREAT DANE, BIRA MERCHANDISE AND MORE
Censor Board Removes Kashmir References from Mission Impossible: Fallout, IIFA Accused of Plagiarism over the Tribute Video on Sridevi, Major Record Labels file suit against Cox Communications for Piracy, Long-running Suit between Motorola and Hytera now Includes Copyright Infringement, City Merchandise Inc Sues Balenciaga for Copyright Infringement, Great Dane Graphics Settles Copyright Infringement Case, Relativity and Netflix settle long-running licensing dispute, Lionsgate And Universal Music Sign Exclusive Multi-year Agreement, Maker of craft beer Bira 91 enters merchandising.
COPYRIGHT QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Copyright? Copy RIGHT: Steal ideas, steal facts, but do not steal words.” – Dan Poynter
INDIAN COPYRIGHT STATISTICS
There is an increase of 35% in the total number of copyright applications filed this week as compared to the applications filed last week. A total of 375 applications were filed for copyright registration during the last week. Most of the applications were filed for literary and artistic works. Applications for musical works and sound recording works increased substantially from 0 to 15, 5 to 33 respectively.
|S. No||Types of Work||Number of Applications filed in the Previous Week|
(16th July to 22nd July, 2018)
|Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week|
(23rd July to 29th July, 2018)
|1.||Literary Work||182||213||31||17% increase|
|3.||Artistic Work||62||68||6||10% increase|
|4.||Cinematograph Film||9||12||3||33% increase|
|5.||Sound Recording||5||33||28||560% increase|
INDIAN COPYRIGHT NEWS
Censor Board Removes Kashmir References from Mission Impossible: Fallout
Tom Cruise’s movie Mission Impossible: Fallout, released worldwide on July 27, 2018, had four modifications made by India’s Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC). CBFC asked the makers of the movie to delete scenes wherein references to Kashmir were made.
According to the CBFC certificate, the board had asked the makers to cut the title before the climax which identified the place “India occupied Kashmir” and a map of the Indian subcontinent that misrepresented of the state of Jammu and Kashmir was also removed.
IIFA Accused of Plagiarism over the Tribute Video on Sridevi
The IIFA Awards 2018, held in Thailand, were aired on television on Sunday. The organizers of the gala (Wizcraft) found plagiarism charges levelled against them within a few hours. In a Facebook post, Saba Arif, an independent content creator, accused them of lifting her Sridevi tribute video, titled “Last Empress: A Tribute to Sridevi”.
Saba’s seven-minute-long video is a montage of stills from Sridevi’s films. The content creator alleges that the IIFA officials made minor cosmetic changes to her video by way of a voiceover. She claimed it to be a grievous copyright violation, demanding for due credits and apology for such act.
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT NEWS UPDATE
Major Record Labels file suit against Cox Communications for Piracy
In a suit filed in a Virginia District Court on July 31, major music publishers including Sony, EMI, Universal Music and Warner Bros, have alleged that Cox Communications ignored persistent piracy by certain repeat offenders. The suit alleges piracy of more than 10,000 copyrighted works, taking the potential damages into billion dollar territory.
The music publishers argue that Cox has knowingly contributed to the piracy activities of its subscribers by allowing them to continue infringement. They also claim that, despite sending repeated notices to Cox regarding infringement, no action was taken.
US Law required ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to terminate the accounts of repeat infringers “in appropriate circumstances”. The labels emphasise that, instead of terminating subscribers’ accounts, Cox would apply a so-called “soft termination” where subscribers’ accounts were reinstated swiftly after they were disconnected.
With a statutory maximum of $150,000 per work, the case could, in theory, cost Cox more than $1.5 billion. Cox has been previously involved in similar litigation initiated by the record label BMG, in which a retrial was ordered after Cox successfully appealed against damages of USD 25 million.
Long-running Suit between Motorola and Hytera now Includes Copyright Infringement
In a suit that was originally filed in an Illinois District Court in March 2017, Motorola has now added grounds of copyright infringement against Hytera. In the suit, Motorola had initially alleged that Hytera infringed Motorola’s patents and utilized trade secrets stolen from Motorola. The new claim asserts that Hytera copied potions of Motorola’s software code verbatim into programs for Hytera’s digital two-way radio products. In its statement regarding the new claims, Motorola stated that the unusual timing of the filing of the copyright infringement claim was because Motorola became aware of this only during hearings related to the theft of its trade secrets.
City Merchandise Inc Sues Balenciaga for Copyright Infringement
A local retailer in New York City has filed a suit against luxury retailer Balenciaga for infringing the design of one of its New York souvenir tote bags. City Mechandise, in the suit dated July 27, alleges that the designs of their New York souvenir tote and Balenciaga’s are basically the same. It further alleges that Balenciaga has a ‘dubious reputation’ of appropriating the work of other designers and passing it off as Balenciaga’s own.
The filing contains detailed descriptions of the company’s original artwork and its “whimsical and appealing layouts and arrangements, compilations and/or collages, skyline perspectives, depicted objects and environmental elements, color schemes and shading, highlighting and bordering, shapes and sizes.”
Balenciaga, who are owned by the Kering group, are yet to comment on the case.
Great Dane Graphics Settles Copyright Infringement Case
Great Dane Graphics recently reached a settlement with the owner of Vovo, a decorated-apparel shop in Massachusetts. In a suit filed in January 2018, Great Dane had alleged that Vovo had been using thousands of proprietary stock images without paying a license fee. Great Dane asserted that Vovo had been engaged in “wholesale duplication and subsequent uploading onto various websites of thousands of valuable graphic images.” It also stated that the owner of Vovo copied the selection, arrangement and coordination of Great Dane’s images, and used the exact numbering system that Great Dane used on its images. Although the exact amount of the settlement has not been disclosed, the terms included a public apology by Vovo’s owner.
Relativity and Netflix settle long-running licensing dispute
Hollywood studio Relativity Media LLC and Netflix Inc. have settled their long-running dispute over a lucrative licensing contract, thereby clearing the road for the sale of the studio. After litigation that has lasted for nearly four years now, Netflix agreed to pay Relativity about $7.2 million, including millions of dollars in licensing fees it had withheld from the studio. The licensing contract, which was signed in 2010, obligated Netflix to pay a premium rate for Relativity’s films, soon becoming one of the most valuable remaining assets of the studio.
MERCHANDISING AND LICENSING NEWS
Lionsgate And Universal Music Sign Exclusive Multi-Year Agreement
Leading music publisher Universal Music Group and Global content leader Lionsgate have entered into an exclusive agreement under which Universal Music will administer all of Lionsgate’s music rights, including licensing, revenue collection and accounting. Universal Music will also represent Lionsgate’s music publishing properties worldwide, including musical compositions and scores. The two media giants will also be working together through creative use of Universal Music’s global roster of songwriters and expansive catalog of songs for Lionsgate’s expansive portfolio of film, television and digital content.
Maker of craft beer Bira 91 enters merchandising
The Delhi-based beverage makers, B9 Beverages, have launched an online store with a variety of growlers, glasses, mugs, ice-bucket, apparel and other collectibles. They also intend to collaborate with other lifestyle brands to create limited-edition merchandise by leveraging consumer loyalty to the brand.
Founded in 2015, the Sequoia-backed beer brand raised $50 million in May this year, increasing its overall funding to $100 million. The global craft beer market is projected to reach over $500 billion by 2025, and brands have realized that an important step towards growing their market share has been whetting consumers’ appetite through lifestyle offerings.
The Copyright Act allows broadcasting organisations to communicate to the public a particular sound recording by taking a statutory license and paying royalty to owner as per the rates fixed by the Appellate Board. This provision safeguards the broadcasting organisations from the unreasonable royalty demands made by the owners of the sound recordings.
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]