LANDMARK JUDGEMENTS ON COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

Authors:

Puja Mistry, GLC Mumbai Simmi Bagga, MM (DU) Mullana

Ramya, Alliance University Bengaluru

Editor: Tanya Kanchan Soni, NLU Raipur





Case-Vicco Laboratories v. Art Commercial Advertising Pvt. Ltd

Date of judgment- 13/08/2001

Court - Supreme Court of India

Citation- AIR 1990 Bom 123

The issue before the court- Question of the copyright of a TV Serial

A suit was filed for declaration of title and permanent injunction by the plaintiff claiming the title of the Television serial "Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi" on the ground that the serial was produced by the plaintiff and advertised by the defendant as an agent.

They further claimed that all the expenses were of petitioners and on telecast day of ep. 2 their name was not shown as sponsors. The respondent claimed that petitioners are not the owners ( Section 17[1] of the Copyright Act, 1957) but they have a copyright for the same and further claimed that it was agreed between them that the copyright would rest exclusively with the respondents and not with the petitioners.

Therefore, respondents' name was shown in the title of the serial as the producer right from the beginning and petitioners never protested against the same. Also, the entire cost of the spadework was borne by defendants.

Petitioners paid a fixed amount for linking their ads with serial only and there was no agreement as a principal-agent relationship but as an advertiser & agent.

HELD - Presented pleadings and the evidence showed that the amount paid by the plaintiff to the defendant was fixed for sponsoring serial, not for the cost of production & the plaintiff was not even aware of the idea of the serial before which defendants were working on it i.e. no point of claiming copyright.

The Trial court said the profits or loss was of the respondents and element of liability to render account was missing and thus there was no question of respondents being the agents of the petitioners within the meaning of Section 182[2] of the Indian Contract Act, So, It was rightly held that the plaintiff has no title over the serial. Therefore, the petition dismissed

Case- B.K. Dani And Ors. vs State Of M.P. And Anr. on 17 February 2004

Date of judgement- 18/08/1978

court name- Supreme Court of India

Citation-1978 AIR 1613, 1979 SCR (1) 218

The issue before the court- Infringement of Copyright


The petitioner works as a bookseller and publisher, files a petition under section 482, Cr.P.C for squatting criminal case no. 498/95 pending in the court filed by the defendant of this case. Defendant here is a Secretary Board of Education, MP who claims that Petitioners have committed offenses of infringing copyright. A report was filed under section 63 of The Copyright Act, 1957 where petitions were charge-sheeted. He claims that petitioners have published their model Q &A without permission or consent.

HELD - It was held that the respondent wasn't authorized to claim copyright infringement because of the absence in the registration of copyright under Section 45 of the Copy-Right Act, 1957.

Even according to the charge-sheet, the publication of the petitioners was never compared with the model Q&A.

In the circumstances, there appears to be no legal basis to frame a charge for infringement of the copyright Under Section 63[3] of the Copyright Act, 1957

against petitioners.

Accordingly petitions Under Section 482, Cr. P.C. succeeded, and as a result proceedings against the petitioners were quashed and stand discharged.


Case Name: My Space Inc. vs Super Cassettes Industries Ltd.

Court Name: Delhi High Court

Judgment Date: 23.12.2016

Relevant Citation: 2011 (48) PTC 49 (Del)

The issue before the court: Infringement of Copyright

The Plaintiff - Super Cassettes Industries or T-Series is involved in the business of music distribution and film production and claims to be the owner of several music recordings and films. The defendant - MySpace Inc has based a US entertainment website that offers a variety of applications for viewing music and images. The plaintiff filed a suit before the Delhi High Court as it was alleged by them that MySpace Inc posted the work of T-Series on their platform hence committed infringement under Section 51 (a) (i) the Copyright Act, 1957. Section 51 (a) (i) lays down that a copyright in a work shall be considered to be infringed when any person does any act without a license given by the owner of the copyright unless that person is not aware and he also has no reasonable grounds for believing that such communication to amounts to infringement.

HELD - The Court while deciding this case examined the wording of Section 1. which contains the term “any place” for posting the work and earning profits.

It was held that it would mean a physical place or internet webspace.

2. It was held that infringement includes the wrongs committed in the webspace.

3. In this case, the defendants showed the plaintiff’s work on their web pages. The court ruled in favour of the plaintiff concerning their claim, it said that the defendant’s acts could be considered to be prima facie infringement concerning this provision of law and ordered the defendants to take action to check the ownership and remove any infringing material available on its website.


Case Name: Eastern Book Company and Ors. vs D.B. Modak

Court Name: Delhi High Court

Judgment Date: 27.09.2002

Relevant Citation: 101 (2002) DLT 205

The issue before the Court: Copyright of Government work & Original Literary Work

The Appellant – Eastern Book Company is into the business of publishing law reports containing edited Supreme Court cases procured from their registrar. Changes in fonts, paragraphing, headnotes, and footnotes were to make it user friendly. The Respondents had launched a software called “Grand Jurix'' called “The Laws'' which was published on CD-ROMS. The Appellants contested that presentation of those judgments constituted an ‘original literary work’ for which copyright existed under Section 13 of the Copyright Act, 1957 and they alleged that respondents’ software packages have been lifted verbatim from the Appellants’ work including the style and formatting hence the issue arose that whether the copy-edited text of the judgments published should be protected right under the Copyright Act?

HELD - The Court held that in the absence of any agreement, the government shall be the first owner of the copyright in the judgments of the Supreme Court. However, in cases which include derivative literary

work created from pre-existing material creates a new copyright work as it includes the independent skill, labour, and capital of the author.

Thus, the plaintiff was granted with interim relief and it was held that respondents shall be entitled to sell their CD-ROMS but without copying editorial notes appearing in the journal of the plaintiff. It can be learned from this case that the word ‘original’ does not mean inventive thought or novelty as Copyright Act is not concerned with the originality of ideas but with the expression of thought in print or writing resulting from a bit of skill.[4]


Case Name: University of London Press Ltd. Vs. University Tutorial Press Ltd.

Court Name: Chancery Division

Judgment Date: 26 July 1916

Relevant Citation: (1916) 2 Ch 601

Issues before the Court: Question of ownership of copyright and original work meaning.


The University of London had appointed two to frame an exam paper for the University to be published by the University of London press. It was further stated that these examiners were not employed by the university but provided their "services" to the university as they were not appointed for the full-time position. The defendant issued various question papers, three of which were similar to those of the complainants, and that was when the question of copyright was raised. The papers prepared by the examiners were found to be literary works within the meaning of the Copyright Law of 1911 (British).

HELD - According to the Court, the word original does not mean in this respect that the work must be the expression of original or inventive thought.

The applicants were found to have demonstrated that they had thought about the questions they had asked and that they had taken notes or notes for future questions they had asked.

The documents they prepared came from themselves and were within the meaning of the law, original. Against the arguments that the questions posed in the elementary articles are of a common type, the Court held that most elementary books of mathematics can be considered to be of a common type, but this fact would not give impunity to an offender predator.

The book and articles are from the author and are not copied by him from another book or article. The court gave a famous legal maxim still in use even after numerous years of the choice – “What is worth copying is worth protecting”, and hence the plaintiff enjoys the right over the question paper and the defendant is liable for the violation of copyright.


Case Name: Amar Nath Sehgal v. Union of India

Court Name: Delhi High Court

Date of the Judgement: 21.02.2005

Relevant Citation: 117 (2005) DLT 717

The issue before the court: Special right under Section 57

The Court classified moral rights as the soul of the author's works. "The author has the right to preserve, protect, and nurture his creations through his moral rights.

A creative individual is exclusively dedicated to the power and mystique of the original genius, creating a privileged relationship between a creative author and his work. “The Court clarified the moral rights derived from art and literary work. The language of Section 57 allows us to legally protect the cultural heritage of India through the artist's moral rights. "Intellectual property and knowledge are interconnected.

Intellectual Property incorporates traditional value-added thinking and knowledge. Therefore, physical destruction or loss has far-reaching social consequences. The knowledge that has grown you also lose copyright. The court ruled that the moral rights artwork acquired the nation's cultural heritage status and the state's obligation to protect the artwork. Furthermore, Section 57 includes the destruction of a work of art as the basis, as it is the extreme form of mutilation and reduces the volume of the author's creative corpus and detrimentally affects its reputation as actionable under the said section. The right would include an action to protect its integrity with the nation's cultural heritage.

HELD - The Court held that the plaintiff has cause to maintain an action even though the copyright in the mural is in the hands of the accused.

It was further argued that the defendants not only violated the plaintiff's moral right to integrity in the mural but also violated the integrity of the work with the nation's cultural heritage. The Court ordered the defendants to return to the plaintiff the remains of the mural permanently without rights acquired with the defendants onward and ordered the defendants to pay damages at cost.

[1] Section 17 of the Copyright Act, 1957 [2] Section 182 of the Indian Contract Act, 1872 [3] Section 63 of the copyright act,1957 [4] Burlington Home Shopping v. Rajnish Chibber, (1996) 113 PLR 31

39 views0 comments
 

©2020 by JURIS COGNITIONIS. Proudly created with Wix.com