Weekly Copyright News: Obscenity in Web Series, Notice Against Swiggy, Copyright Infringement of PS4, Mega Man Movie and More
Bombay High Court Issues Notice to I&B Ministry About Unregulated Obscenity in Web Series, Prithvi Shaw’s Management Agency Claims INR 1 Crore from Freecharge and Swiggy, Court Rejects Raymond Chairman Gautam Singhania’s Application Seeking Injunction Against a Book His Father is Writing, Sony Sues Individual for Copyright Infringement of PS4, Court Denies Spotify’s Request to Dismiss a $321 Million Copyright Infringement Lawsuit, Video Game Franchise Mega Man Being Made into Live Action Movie, DistroKid Receives Silversmith Capital Funding.
COPYRIGHT QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“The right to be attributed as an author of a work is not merely a copyright, it is every author’s basic human right.”
Dr. Kalyan C. Kankanala
INDIAN COPYRIGHT STATISTICS
There is a slight decrease of 3% in the total number of copyright applications filed last week as compared to the applications filed in the previous week. A total of 324 applications were filed for copyright registration during the last week. Most of the applications were filed for literary work and artistic works. Applications for software increased significantly from 14 to 36.
|S. No||Types of Work||Number of Applications filed in the Previous Week|
(24th September to 30th September, 2018)
|Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week|
(1st October to 7th October, 2018)
|1.||Literary Work||200||125||75||Decrease of|
|2.||Musical Work||5||7||2||Increase of 40%|
|3.||Artistic Work||74||143||69||Increase of 93%|
|4.||Cinematograph Film||14||0||14||Decrease of 100%|
|5.||Sound Recording||26||9||17||Decrease of 65%|
|6.||Software||14||36||22||Increase of 157%|
|Total||333||324||9||Decrease of 3%|
INDIAN COPYRIGHT NEWS
Bombay High Court Issues Notice to I&B Ministry About Unregulated Obscenity in Web Series
The Bombay High Court issued a notice to the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to respond to a plea that sought to regulate online shows. Divya Gontia, filed a public interest litigation alleging that online platforms consist of vulgarity and crude language content, which must be regulated.
In the petition, she cited ‘Gandi Baat’ on the online platform ALT Balaji and ‘Sacred Games’ on Netflix as examples of shows having “vulgar content” and further, requested for the setting up of a pre-screening committee to regulate online shows and movies.
Prithvi Shaw’s Management Agency Claims INR 1 Crore from Freecharge and Swiggy
Baseline Ventures, the sports marketing team managing national cricketer Prithvi Shaw, has sent cease and desist notices to FreeCharge and Swiggy seeking a sum of Rs. 1 crore each, as compensation for using Shaw’s name in their promotions. Upon Prithvi’s maiden Test Cricket century Swiggy posted creatives on social media stating “Firsts we’ll remember forever: First bite of Rasmalai, First innings of Prithvi Shaw”.
Baseline Ventures alleged that such usage by the like of Swiggy and FreeCharge are riding on Shaw’s name and fame without the company’s authorization and violating Prithvi Shaw’s exclusive rights.
Court Rejects Raymond Chairman Gautam Singhania’s Application Seeking Injunction Against a Book His Father is Writing
A suit was filed in September by Raymond Group Chairman Gautam Singhania, seeking an injunction against a tell-all book his estranged father Dr. Vijaypat Singhania is writing, alleging that its contents were “defamatory to him as well as his family”.
However, the publishers and Vijaypat’s lawyers argued that the content claiming to be defamatory has not been proved. Further they, stated that the book was “still in process,” and therefore, the allegations in the suit were premature. The publishers informed the court that the book was not a biography, but an autobiography. The court, accepting these arguments, observed that the family members were involved in a “public fight”, and rejected Gautam’s application.
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT NEWS UPDATE
Sony Sues Individual for Copyright Infringement of PS4
Sony has filed a suit in a California court against an individual for infringing the copyright relating to PlayStation (PS) software and games, as well as selling “jailbroken” consoles and services. Sony claimed that Eric David Scales, doing business as Blackcloak13, had marketed and sold jailbroken PS4 consoles which contain pirated copies of PS4-compatible games on eBay, and had also offered jailbreaking services for PS4 consoles.
The act of “jailbreaking” refers the removal of various constraints applied by a device, including those preventing a console from playing pirated copies of video games.
In its suit, Sony described the copyright registrations obtained for its authorized games and the PlayStation code, and the specific measures designed to prevent running of unauthorized games on PS consoles. Sony claimed that the act of jailbreaking circumvented the technological protection measures which usually prevent consoles from playing pirated copies of video games, and thus violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Sony is seeking an injunction preventing Blackcloak13 from selling the infringing products and services, the delivery of all disputed devices for destruction, all profits received by Blackcloak13 and the statutory damages and costs incurred.
Court Denies Spotify’s Request to Dismiss a $321 Million Copyright Infringement Lawsuit
A Federal Court in Tennessee, US, has denied Spotify’s request to dismiss a massive copyright infringement lawsuit worth hundreds of millions in potential damages.
The suit was filed in July 2017 by Bluewater Music Services Corporation, an independent publisher and copyright administration company. The suit alleges that Spotify willfully infringed on 2,339 copyrighted works, including Sam Gay’s ‘10,000 Pieces’ and Bob Morrison’s ‘You’d Make an Angel Want To Cheat.’ Bluewater claims it had terminated Spotify’s license to reproduce and stream the works in November 2016, and demanded the company stop streaming the specific works. Bluewater claims that Spotify failed to negotiate a direct mechanical license, and either failed to pay proper mechanical royalties, or paid no royalties at all. Bluewater has sought a maximum statutory damage award of USD 150,000 for each infringed work, for a total of USD 321.3 million.
MERCHANDISING AND LICENSING NEWS
Video Game Franchise Mega Man Being Made into Live Action Movie
Capcom, the publisher of the popular video game Mega Man, has announced a partnership with 20th Century Fox to create a live action version of the game. The movie adaptation will also involve Chernin Entertainment, most well associated with the Planet of The Apes reboot series as well as action comedies The Spy and Heat. The game, which pits players against seven distinct major enemies, has spawned over 70 games in total as well as half a dozen cartoon shows.
The announcement follows closely on the heels of a critically acclaimed Mega Man 11 release on console and computer. Capcom Japan has not yet announced a projected release date for the Mega Man film.
DistroKid Receives Silversmith Capital Funding
Music distributor DistroKid announced this week that it would be receiving a significant investment from Silversmith Capital, a Boston-based growth equity company. DistroKid distributes music to platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and Deezer and is used by over 250,000 music artists. Unlike most distributors who take a percentage of music royalties in exchange for services rendered, DistroKid charges artists a low flat fee on an annual subscription basis. Although the financial terms of the deal were not announced, the deal puts two SilverSmith executives on DistroKid’s board of directors.
Multiple copyright registrations are needed to protect a mobile app or software under copyright law. The user interface is protectable as an artistic work while the source code as a literary work.
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]