WEEKLY COPYRIGHT NEWS: LEGAL NOTICE TO SONY, COPYRIGHT IN FILM TITLES, RICK AND MORTY THEMED BAR CLOSED, LEGAL NOTICE TO DONALD TRUMP, SIMPSONS MERCHANDISE AND MORE
IUCAA Serves Rs 50 Lakh Notice to TV Serial, Madras High Court Upholds Copyright in Film Title ‘Naan Aanaiittaal’, Rick and Morty Bar Forced to Shut Down Over Copyright Dispute, Kickboxer: Retaliation Film Leaked, Steven Tyler Sends Cease and Desist to Donald Trump, ASOS Designs Unveils the Simpsons Line, The Rolling Stones New and Expanded UMG Partnership.
COPYRIGHT QUOTE OF THE WEEK
The problem with copyright enforcement is that when the parameters aren’t incredibly well defined, it means big corporations, who have deeper pockets and better lawyers, can bully people. – Shepard Fairey
INDIAN COPYRIGHT STATISTICS
There is an increase of 15% in the total number of copyright applications filed this week as compared to last week. A total of 291 applications were filed for copyright registration during the last week. Most of the applications were filed for literary and artistic works. Applications for cinematograph film works increased substantially from 1 to 12.
|S. No||Types of Work||Number of Applications filed in the Previous Week|
(6th August to 12th August, 2018)
|Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week|
(13th August to 19th August, 2018)
|1.||Literary Work||125||138||13||Increase of 10%|
|2.||Musical Work||7||4||3||Decrease of 43%|
|3.||Artistic Work||72||111||39||Increase of 54%|
|4.||Cinematograph Film||1||12||11||Increase of 1100%|
|5.||Sound Recording||7||5||2||Decrease of 28%|
|6.||Software||41||21||20||Decrease of 49%|
|Total||253||291||38||Increase of 15%|
INDIAN COPYRIGHT NEWS
IUCAA Serves Rs 50 Lakh Notice to TV Serial
The Inter-university Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) has sent a cease and desist notice to Sony, SAB TV and Dashami Creations, producers of TV serial “Namune” for infringement of copyrights. IUCAA claimed that the serial is largely based on characters created by Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, popularly known as Pu La, through his book ‘Vyakti and Valli’.
According to the notice, the copyrights of Pu La’s literature after his death were with his wife Sunita Deshpande, who in turn transferred those rights to IUCAA, in her will. In its notice, IUCAA has sought Rs. 50,00,000 towards damages and compensation for infringement of copyright. The notice also instructs the producers not to telecast any further episodes of the series.
Madras High Court Upholds Copyright in Film Title ‘Naan Aanaiittaal’
The Madras High Court in a suit regarding the film title copyright ‘Naan Aanaiittaal’ has passed an ex-parte order in favor of Sathya Movies. The Court held that Sathya Movies was entitled to the protection for the title of its 1966 film, ‘Naan Aanaiittaal’, which was registered with the Tamil Film Producers Council. On the basis of the evidence submitted by Sathya movies, and in the absence of any defence from Suresh Productions and other defendants, the Court, without further examining the merits of Sathya Movies’ claim to the film title, decided that ownership over the film title ‘Naan Aanaiittaal’ vest with Sathya Movies. The Court further ordered that the defendants may not use the title of the film.
This decision is contrary to the Court’s examination of film title protection in previous cases wherein it was held that there can be no claim for copyright over the title of a film or a literary work.
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT NEWS UPDATE
Rick and Morty Bar Forced to Shut Down Over Copyright Dispute
A Rick and Morty themed pop-up bar named the Wubba Lubba Dub PUB has been forced to shut down in the US one day after opening following a copyright dispute with Cartoon Network and Turner Broadcasting.
The bar consists of a “fully immersive experience”, including reconstruction of locations, hand-sewn characters, a 25-foot character cutout, specialized drinks menu and other “deep references” to Rick and Morty, a television show on Adult Swim. Drinks Company, owner of the bar, said that talks with Turner Broadcasting and Cartoon Network had previously reached a compromise, but after launch Drinks Company was threatened with “exorbitant” fees that forced premature closure. As the company was not able to pay the prescribed fee, the bar was shut down due to copyright dispute.
Kickboxer: Retaliation Film Leaked
Producers of the film “Kickboxer: Retaliation”, Our House Films, filed a copyright complaint in California federal court against Tunnel Inc., a postproduction house, for violating its contract and distributing the final cut of the movie to third parties, without permission, prior to the release of the movie. Due to the violation, millions of people watched unauthorized versions of Kickboxer: Retaliation online before release, according to the complaint.
Our House Films’ attorney stated that because the film was available illicitly online worldwide prior to the release, producers were robbed of all or a substantial portion of its value. It brought in about $58,000 in United Arab Emirates theaters, at which its 2016 counterpart “Kickboxer: Vengeance” grossed more than $200,000. The original 1989 Kickboxer earned almost $15 million domestically whereas the latest installment made less than $5,000 at the domestic box office. Therefore, the complaint was filed by Our House Films claiming copyright infringement and negligence on part of Tunnel Inc. and is seeking at least $5 million in damages.
Steven Tyler Sends Cease and Desist to Donald Trump
Steven Tyler, lead singer of the rock band Aerosmith, sent a cease and desist notice to US President Donald Trump to stop him from using Aerosmith’s song at his rally. The notice is sent after Aerosmith’s famous song “Livin’ on the Edge” was recently played in a rally at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia. This is the third cease and desist letter sent by Steven Tyler to Donald Trump. In 2015, Tyler sent two letters to then presidential candidate Donald Trump demanding he stop playing Aerosmith’s song “Dream On” in his rallies and other events.
In this regard, Tyler’s attorney stated that “By using “Livin’ on The Edge” without our client’s permission, Mr. Trump is falsely implying that our client, once again, endorses his campaign and/or his presidency, as evidenced by actual confusion seen from the reactions of our client’s fans all over social media.”
MERCHANDISING AND LICENSING NEWS
ASOS Designs Unveils the Simpsons Line
A British online fashion and beauty retailer, asos.com, has recently revealed its latest big-name licensed character collaboration with “The Simpsons” for a summer collection. The 30-piece range has been inspired by 1990’s party culture, with the pieces featuring streetwear influenced styles – all with a nod to The Simpsons’ much loved characters including Homer, Marge, Lisa, Bart, Maggie and their aunts, Patty and Selma.
The collection includes womenswear, menswear and unisex pieces, with styles available in ASOS Curve and Plus. In addition, Springfield’s Kwik-E-Mart features in the collection on bucket hats and classic tote bags, while the iconic Springfield clouds are featured on a number of denim pieces.
The Rolling Stones New and Expanded UMG Partnership
The Rolling Stones have announced new and expanded worldwide agreements with Universal Music Group and its subsidiaries. On the licensing front, Bravado, UMG’s brand management and merchandising group, will oversee the global merchandising rights, retail licensing, brand management and e-commerce on behalf of the band, including their tongue logo. Bravado will also work closely with the band to spotlight new creative opportunities across art, retail, sports, lifestyle and tour merchandise. Most recently, Bravado made deals with Paris Saint Germain FC, Selfridges, Colette and Zara in preparation for the band’s “No Filter” European tour. Elsewhere, Universal Music Group will continue to distribute the band’s catalog from 1971 to the present, a job UMG has done since 2008. Eagle Rock, the UMG-owned producer and distributor of music programs for broadcast, will expand their global distribution rights to the band’s extensive long-form audiovisual catalogue.
In India personality rights is considered a fundamental right to privacy and publicity and is protected by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
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]