Star India granted ex-parte injunction over copyright infringement for movie ‘TADAP’
Star India Pvt has filed the instant case. Ltd against Extramovies click & Ors alleging copyright infringement.
The plaintiff has filed this suit for permanent injunction for infringing their exclusive rights and copyright, including its renditions of accounts and damages against the defendants.
The plaintiff is a leading entertainment company indulged in producing and distributing televisions shows, web series, and films. This case concerns the release of a new movie called ‘Tadap,’ which was supposed to be released on 03.12.2021. Fox Star Studios has jointly produced the film, a division of the plaintiff and defendant No. 33 in the instant suit.
The plaintiff has spent vast sums in the production and promotion of this film, and they had the exclusive rights to do the same, including having these rights in movies that the plaintiff holds (like bhoot police). Having exclusive rights means no other entity can upload, stream, make available for download, communicate to the public the film in any manner whatsoever without authorization, including the internet for viewing on various devices such as computers, phones, and laptops, etc.
However, even after holding exclusive rights, some anonymous rogue websites have been continuously infringing the plaintiff’s rights by illegally making available for download/streaming/communicating to the public the plaintiff’s copyrighted content. The plaintiff apprehends that the defendants will also infringe their rights in the film, thereby violating their rights and eroding their business.
Some internet service providers and government departments, namely the Department of Telecommunication and Ministry of Economics and Information Technology, have also been drawn up to issue notifications and block the rogue defendants’ access, infringing their exclusive rights.
FINDINGS OF THE COURT
Justice Yogesh Khanna of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court stated that the plaintiff had made a prima facie case in their favor. Further, the Court was also of the opinion that if the defendants are not restrained ex parte, the plaintiffs shall suffer immense harm and loss. Thus, the plaintiffs were granted ex parte injunction.
This case relating to the movie ‘tadap’ is not the first to surface regarding the copyright infringement regarding a film to be released. In August, the Delhi High Court dealt with Star India Pvt’s similar case against Moviesghar.Art was about the release of the movie ‘Bhuj- the pride of India.’ In this case, the plaintiff expressed concerns regarding piracy whereby the Court restrained the defendants from hosting, storing, reproducing, streaming, broadcasting, re-broadcasting, causing to be seen or heard by the public, and making available for viewing the Plaintiffs’ Film.
Moreover, these are not the only two cases in this light. There are new cases observed regarding the release of movies or shows. The point is that there is no law per se, even in the copyright act of 1957, that would govern as a legal regime for the governing over the cases of piracy, copyright infringement, and illegal reproduction of someone’s exclusive content. It is high time that India has a law that provides for such cases to be brought under one umbrella. The Court has reduced the burden of dealing with similar kinds of issues, and the copyright rights of the firms and individuals are fairly protected.
Authored by: Jhanvi Sahni; student at NALSAR University of Law
Disclaimer: This brief is intended to provide general guidance to the subject matter. It does not contain legal advice. For any specific advice/corrections, write to [email protected]
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