We cannot stop Yakshini, says the Delhi High Court

In the case of Pocket FM Private Limited (“Pocket FM”) versus Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited & Anr. (“Novi Digital”), the Delhi High Court denied Pocket FM’s application for an ad-interim injunction to restrain Novi Digital from releasing a television series titled “Yakshini” on its platform, Disney+Hotstar.
Pocket FM, an online platform offering audio series and audiobooks, claimed that Novi Digital’s “Yakshini” television series infringed on its copyright. Pocket FM had acquired exclusive rights to the literary work “Yakshini” by Mr. Anand Usha Borkar and adapted it into an audio series. They argued that the unauthorized adaptation by Novi Digital bore stark similarities to its audio series, including thematic elements, character traits, and plot points.

In response, Novi Digital argued that “Yakshini” is a mythological character widely depicted in literature and media, and that Pocket FM could not claim any Copyrights over the character. Additionally, Novi Digital submitted a “Release Form” signed by Pocket FM, which stated that Pocket FM would not assert any proprietary claims over the works that formed part of their prior negotiations.

The court stated that Pocket FM had delayed filing the suit despite Novi Digital’s public announcement of the series in May 2024. It observed that “Yakshini” was a mythological character with numerous existing adaptations and that Pocket FM had not demonstrated a prima facie case of copyright infringement based on the expression of the idea. The court also highlighted that pre-release injunctions would not be typically granted unless there is concrete evidence of infringement. It concluded that the balance of convenience did not favor Pocket FM as the potential loss could be compensated monetarily and that Pocket FM did not demonstrate irreparable harm.

As a result, the court dismissed Pocket FM’s application for an interim injunction. It therefore allowed Novi Digital to proceed with the release of the television series.

Citation: Pocket FM Private Limited v. Novi Digital Entertainment Private Limited, CS(COMM) 524/2024 (H.C. Delhi June 13, 2024).

Disclaimer

This case note/blog post has been generated using Artificial intelligence and reviewed for correctness. However, please exercise caution and note that experts in the field may have different opinions about the case or arrive at different conclusions therefrom. It is advisable to read the Judgment before making any decisions based on the case note.

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