WEEKLY COPYRIGHT NEWS: SAAMY SQUARE FALLS PREY TO PIRACY, URVASHI RAUTELA’S APOLOGY, DEVELOPMENT IN SOLID OAK V. TAKE-TWO CASE, UNOFFICIAL MARIO KART, ARTIST CAN DIRECTLY UPLOAD SONGS ON SPOTIFY, WARNER MUSIC ACQUIRES EMP AND MORE
Vikram and Aishwarya Rajesh’s Film ‘Saamy Square” Falls Prey to Piracy, Actress Urvashi Rautela Apologises for Copying Gigi Hadid’s Instagram Caption, Simphiwe Majola Accuses Urban Brew of TV Show Copyright Infringement, Solid Oak Asks Court to Dismiss Take-Two’s Summary Judgement Request against LeBron James, Nintando Wins Copyright Suit Against Unofficial Mario Kart, Artist Sues Country Singer for Use of Mural in Music Video, Montana Photographer Sues Netflix for Copyright Infringement, Spotify to Allow Artists to Directly Upload Their Songs, Warner Music Acquires EMP Merchandising
COPYRIGHT QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“Of all the creative work produced by humans anywhere, a tiny fraction has continuing commercial value. For that tiny fraction, the copyright is a crucially important legal device.” -Lawrence Lessig
INDIAN COPYRIGHT STATISTICS
There is a decrease of 10.59% in the total number of copyright applications filed last week as compared to the applications filed previous week. A total of 304 applications were filed for copyright registration during the last week. Most of the applications were filed for literary work. Applications for cinematograph film increased substantially from 1 to 10.
|S. No||Types of Work||Number of Applications filed in the Previous Week|
(10th September to 16th September, 2018)
|Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week|
(17th September to 23rd September, 2018)
|1.||Literary Work||169||177||7||Increase of 4.14%|
|2.||Musical Work||4||8||4||Increase of 100%|
|3.||Artistic Work||131||74||57||Decrease of 43.51%|
|4.||Cinematograph Film||1||10||9||Increase of 900%|
|5.||Sound Recording||9||8||1||Decrease of 11.11%|
|6.||Software||26||27||1||Increase of 3.85%|
|Total||340||304||36||Decrease of 10.59%|
INDIAN COPYRIGHT NEWS
Vikram and Aishwarya Rajesh’s Film ‘Saamy Square” Falls Prey to Piracy
Vikram and Aishwarya Rajesh’s film “Saamy Square”, the sequel to the 2003 movie Saamy, was released on September 21st, collecting Rs. 64 lakhs on the opening day itself. The movie features Vikram, Aishwarya Rajesh and Keerthy Suresh in the lead roles. However, the film has since fallen prey to piracy, being leaked online on the first day of its release. According to reports, the movie has been uploaded on a good number of websites and is available for download. The leak could have an adverse effect on the film’s performance at the box office. Having being produced at a relatively high budget, the producers will be looking to draw huge crowds to make this a profitable release.
Actress Urvashi Rautela Apologises for Copying Gigi Hadid’s Instagram Caption
Actress Urvashi Rautela was accused of copying the entire length of an Instagram caption posted by model Gigi Hadid, for which she has recently apologized. Rautela has claimed that the post was written by her content team, and she was unaware that it has been originally posted by Hadid. Rautela had posted the message in response to a media story calling one of her appearances a publicity gimmick, while Hadid had originally posted the same text under similar circumstances.
INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT NEWS UPDATE
Simphiwe Majola Accuses Urban Brew of TV Show Copyright Infringement
PR specialist Simphiwe Majola has accused top production house Urban Brew Studios (UBS) of copyright infringement and nonpayment for his DS TV show ‘Turning Point’. Majola had approached UBS with a business proposal to co-produce an “inspirational TV show” combining the skills, experience and networks of the parties. The two parties had entered into a partnership to produce the show that aired on multi choice’s ED Channel. Further, Majola received an e-mail from UBS on February 26, 2016, informing him that the second season of Turning Point would be cancelled due to a reshuffling of program line-up by the channel.
Majola was shocked when a show titled ‘Starting Point’, based on the same format and content as his show ‘Turning Point’, aired on May 11, 2016. It was agreed that Majola, the original concept owner, would get 70% while Urban Brew was to get 30% of the show’s revenue and royalties. However, Majola claims to have not been paid a cent for their contribution, and has therefore filed summons, demanding 70% of the revenues and royalties generated from the business lifestyle show at a High Court in Johannesburg. Majola claims that he was to receive payment from Urban Brew and also accused UBS of hijacking his concept, alleging that the production company changed his show’s name from ‘Turning Point’ to ‘Starting Point’.
Solid Oak Asks Court to Dismiss Take-Two’s Summary Judgement Request against LeBron James
In a recent development in the battle between Solid Oak sketches and Take-Two Interactive over the use of NBA players’ tattoos, Solid Oak is asking the court to reject Take-Two’s motion for summary judgment. The legal battle between the two started in 2016, when Solid Oak claimed that the rights over the tattoos on the body of LeBron James and other NBA players are owned by Solid Oak, as the creator of the tattoos, and NBA players may have granted rights of publicity to makers of NBA 2K, Take-Two Interactive, but they cannot grant a right to use or display the tattoos fixed on their bodies. Opposing Solid Oak’s claim, Take-Two has argued that the use of tattoos in video games qualifies as fair use and the tattoos are de minimis — a legal term meaning ‘no big deal’ — because they’re rendered virtually unrecognizable on-screen. The US District Court in March declined to dismiss the matter on fair use grounds. As the case goes into the minute details of copyright ownership and fair use, it will be interesting to see the court’s stand on this issue.
Nintando Wins Copyright Suit Against Unofficial Mario Kart
Recently, a Tokyo District Court decided against MariCar, the makers of an unofficial real-life Mario Kart, ordering them to cease lending out Nintendo-themed merchandise and cough up ten million yen (approximately USD 89,000) in damages. The order was passed in the case filed by Nintendo against MariCar, alleging that MariCar was infringing Nintendo’s intellectual property rights by providing life-size Mario Karts without any prior permission from Nintendo. Nintendo appears to have aggressively protected their brand in this case because people were actually sending complaints to Nintendo, due to confusion over the real maker of the go-karts.
Artist Sues Country Singer for Use of Mural in Music Video
Renowned muralist Jason Woodside, who has painted large murals in cities across the world, has filed a suit against popular singer-songwriter Hollyn, for a music video featuring his mural. Woodside claims Hollyn violated his copyright on “the Gulch” mural by filming a portion of her music video in front of the mural, which covers the side of a corner building in Nashville, USA. He also claims that she used design elements from the characteristic colour scheme in her branding. Hollyn had posted the music video to her song “¡Hola!” on YouTube, and received over 100,000 views before her record label took it down. Woodside has claimed damages, including all the profits that Hollyn and Gotee earned from the video and merchandise.
Montana Photographer Sues Netflix for Copyright Infringement
Photographer Sean R. Heavey has filed a lawsuit against Netflix in a US Court for allegedly using one of his photos without permission in two of its productions. He claims that Netflix used his photo of a giant storm cloud in the Montana sky in Stranger Things and How it Ends. In his suit, Heavey has emphasized the time and effort required to create the image, which included following the storm and then combining multiple pictures to show the full scale of the storm cloud. The complaint states that the photo is “the result of numerous sequences of experimentation”, “with various framing, exposure, shutter speed, and movement options.” The photo is internationally acclaimed and has been published on numerous websites.
MERCHANDISING AND LICENSING NEWS
Spotify to Allow Artists to Directly Upload Their Songs
Spotify is launching a new program that allows artists to directly upload their music to Spotify’s platform. This feature will be free of cost and will also allow artist to access data regarding listeners and submit songs for consideration to be added to playlists. In this new feature, the artists can also select the release date for their music, upload artwork and designate whether the song is a single or part of an album. The feature could be a welcome step for artists, enabling them to avoid the traditional route through labels or music aggregators, but the feature will only be available initially to artists invited by Spotify.
Warner Music Acquires EMP Merchandising
Warner Music, the third largest record company and home to artists including Ed Sheeran, has acquired EMP Merchandising, the German retailer that sells merchandise from various famous bands. EMP, founded in 1986 as a mail order music store, sells t-shirts and other merchandise for different bands including Pink Floyd, Metallica and AC/DC. Warner Music has acquired EMP from private equity group Sycamore Partners, for USD 180 million. This acquisition deal is Warner Music’s largest takeover in five years.
Images commonly available on image aggregation websites will generally give you a standard license limited to personal use but all commercial use will be restricted unless a separate license and fees are paid for the same.
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]