Tata Sky Drops Sony, Harassment Clause in Contracts, American Airlines Sues US Copyright Office, BLIZZARD and LEGO Team Up and more

Tata Sky Drops Sony Channels Over Pricing Issues, Emraan Hashmi Adds Sexual Harassment Clause to Contracts, Calcutta High Court Orders Vodafone to Deposit 2.5 Crores in IPRS Copyright Suit, Calcutta High Court Orders Vodafone to Deposit 2.5 Crores in IPRS Copyright Suit, Commerce Ministry Approves Establishment of IPR Chairs in 12 Universities Including NLUs and IITs, Copyright Office Allows Hearing Through Video Conferencing, Facebook News Feed Demotes Sites with Stolen Content, American Airlines Sues US Copyright Office for Refusing Registration, COSBOTS Joins IFFRO for Effective Administration and Management of Reproduction Rights, IFPI Releases Music Consumer Insight Report 2018, BLIZZARD and LEGO Team Up to Launch “OVERWATCH” Toys, Teletubbies’ First Live Christmas Show at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland.


“Technically, you cannot really own a book you bought; you can only own the sheets of paper your copy is printed on; unless, of course, you are the book’s publisher.” – Mokokoma Mokhonoana, The Selfish Genie: A Satirical Essay on Altruism


There is an increase of 7% in the total number of copyright applications filed last week as compared to the applications filed in the previous week. A total of 347 applications were filed for copyright registration during the last week. Most of the applications were filed for literary works and artistic works.

S. No Types of Work Number of Applications filed in the Previous Week
(1st October to 7th October, 2018)
Number of Applications filed in the Recent Week
(8th October to 14th October, 2018)
Change Percent Change
1. Literary Work 126 185 59 Increase of 47%
2. Musical Work 7 7 0 No Change
3. Artistic Work 143 121 22 Decrease of 15%
4. Cinematograph Film 0 2 2 NA
5. Sound Recording 9 5 4 Decrease of 44%
6. Software 36 26 10 Decrease of 28%
Total 324 347 23 Increase of 7%


Tata Sky Drops Sony Channels Over Pricing Issues

Tata Sky has removed many channels operated by Sony Pictures Network India, because the two companies failed to renegotiate prices to extend their contract. Sony issued a strong statement against Tata Sky, saying the DTH operator was depriving its subscribers of popular and world-class entertainment and sporting action. The dispute arose because Sony sought a higher share of revenue for providing its channels through Tata Sky, following a substantial increase in Tata Sky’s consumer base. Tata Sky refused to increase the revenue share, and decided to drop these channels. This led to considerable inconvenience for viewers, particularly those who have paid long-term subscriptions for Sony Channels.

Emraan Hashmi Adds Sexual Harassment Clause to Contracts

Emraan Hashmi’s production house announced last week that it would including clauses related to sexual harassment in company contracts. Recognising the need for such clauses following allegations of sexual misconduct in the film industry, Emraan said that gross misconduct would be treated as a legal violation. He also expressed support for the #MeToo movement, emphasising the need for universal guidelines in order to safeguard the interests of cast and crew members of both genders.

Calcutta High Court Orders Vodafone to Deposit 2.5 Crores in IPRS Copyright Suit

The Calcutta High Court has instructed Vodafone to deposit Rs. 2.5 Crores with the Registrar in a suit involving the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS). IPRS has claimed that Vodafone used songs for its value-added services, such as caller tone, Vodafone Play, Idea Music and Idea Music & TV, without obtaining the necessary authorisations from IPRS.
Vodafone is required to deposit the amount within three weeks from the date of the order and will then be allowed to continue providing its services until the matter is disposed. The court has also ordered Vodafone to file an affidavit in response to IPRS’ claim on or before 19th November.

Government Updates

Commerce Ministry Approves Establishment of IPR Chairs in 12 Universities Including NLUs and IITs

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, through the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, has approved the proposals submitted by 12 universities in India for the establishment of an IPR Chair in each of the selected universities. This is part of the Scheme for Pedagogy and Research in IPR.
The selected universities include seven National Law Universities, two IITs, and two state universities. Under this Scheme, the DIPP will be releasing funds to these universities for the appointment of a Chair Professor, conducting of research and organisation of workshops and conferences. The latest notice invites the selected universities to submit their detailed proposals to enable release of funds.
The notice issued by the Ministry can be accessed here.

Copyright Office Allows Hearing Through Video Conferencing

Indian Copyright Office, through its notice dated 15th October 2018, has introduced video conferencing as an alternative mode for conducting hearings for copyright applications. Rule 70(12) of the Copyright Rules, 2013, states that the Registrar must provide an opportunity for hearing before rejecting any application for copyright registration.
Hearing through video conferencing is an alternative to the practice of in-person hearings being followed at present by the Copyright Office. According to the notice, the applicant or its representative has to submit a request for hearing through video conferencing to the Copyright Office, within 14 days from the receipt of the hearing notice.
The notice issued by Copyright Office can be accessed here.


Facebook News Feed Demotes Sites with Stolen Content

Facebook has announced that posts which link to “low quality sites that predominantly copy and republish content from other sites without providing unique value” are being pushed lower in users’ newsfeeds. These include sites which scrape and republish content with little or no modification, pages with clickbait headlines, and posts which link to landing pages containing too many low-quality ads.
Facebook aims to improve content authenticity across its platforms and ultimately across the rest of the web, through an umbrella effect that results in less traffic to such sites. With lower distribution, the demoted posts will receive less clicks, hence generating lower revenues and de-incentivising stealing of content. Facebook has stated that the new publisher guidelines will warn news outlets to add original content or value to reposted content, or risk being demoted or removed from the feed altogether.

American Airlines Sues US Copyright Office for Refusing Registration

American Airlines has filed a law suit against the United States Copyright Office in a Texas court for refusing copyright registration for its logo “The Flight Symbol”. American Airlines adopted the logo in 2013, and filed an application before US Copyright Office for copyright registration of the logo in 2016. Since then, the US Copyright Office has rejected the application for registration three times, on the ground that the logo lacks creativity. According to the US Copyright Office, the logo is more like an elongated rectangle with an exceedingly common colour pattern of red, white and blue.
American Airlines claims that according to the US Supreme Court the bar for creativity is low. But the US Copyright Office counter-claimed in its January letter to American Airlines that although the bar is low their logo cannot glide over even its low heights.

COSBOTS Joins IFFRO for Effective Administration and Management of Reproduction Rights

Botswana’s only collective management organisation, Copyright Society of Botswana, has joined the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFFRO) for more effective administration and management of reproduction rights of its members. IFFRO is an independent organisation which operates on the principles of the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions. As part of its functioning, IFFRO facilitates collective management of copyrights on international basis through the cooperation of various national reproduction rights organisations, like COSBOTS. IFRRO will assist COSBOTS in its collective management efforts through its platform which will aid the process of developing robust rights management systems that will help users meet these compliance requirements for the protection of copyright works.”

IFPI Releases Music Consumer Insight Report 2018

International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI) recently released the Music Consumer Insight Report 2018, an in-depth report on global music listening habits across the world’s 20 largest music markets. This report provides an interesting perspective regarding the sources used by different people to access music in these 20 countries. According to the report, 86% of consumers globally listen to music through an audio or video on-demand service, 47% of time spent listening to on-demand music is on YouTube, 38% of music consumers reported obtaining music through methods that infringe copyright and 23% of consumers said they downloaded unauthorized copies from either online “cyberlockers” or by using peer-to-peer file-sharing applications.
IFPI Chief Executive, Frances Moore, stated that “This year’s Music Consumer Insight Report tells the story of how recorded music is woven into the lives of fans around the world.  As it becomes increasingly accessible, it continues to be embraced across formats, genres and technologies”. He further added that, “However, this report also shows the challenges the music community continues to face – both in the form of the evolving threat of digital copyright infringement as well as in the failure to achieve fair compensation from some user-upload services”.


BLIZZARD and LEGO Team Up to Launch “OVERWATCH” Toys

Lego Group and Blizzard Entertainment have joined hands to launch a limited-edition LEGO “Overwatch” Omnic Bastion model. The model features Bastion in the orange Omnic Crisis skin, a display plate made from LEGO bricks, a swivelling upper body with moveable arms and a weapon built into the right arm. The model is four-inch-tall and also comes with Ganymede, Bastion’s trusty bird. The collaborators will soon launch a collection of LEGO “Overwatch” building sets.

Teletubbies’ First Live Christmas Show at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland

DHX Brands is teaming up with Fierylight, IMG and Zippos Circus to launch Teletubbies’ first live Christmas Show at UK’s Hyde Park Winter Wonderland. Teletubbyland will be brought to life in a special production running daily from 11am in Zippos Circus MegaDome. The 45-minute long show will be performed till 6th January 2019.
Commercial Director of DHX Brands, Tom Roe, stated that “Live events continue to be a particularly strong draw for fans of the Teletubbies, and between the live-show tour in the UK and the popular mini-shows at Butlins Resorts, we have seen fantastic engagement”.


Idea vs. Expression

The same idea or fact if expressed in different ways,  will not amount to copying and/or copyright infringement. An entertainment company may create content based on a pre-existing idea without fear of copyright liability, provided appropriate steps are taken to differentiate the expression.

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]

Leave a comment