COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT AND PASSING OFF
Copyright infringement not intended
Picture Courtesy: http://www.mcciapunesampada.com/
Context: The case between Humans of Bombay (HOB) and People of India (POI) involves claims of copyright infringement and passing off.
- Humans of Bombay (HOB) approached the Delhi High Court alleging copyright infringement and passing off by POI, claiming that POI had imitated their storytelling format and used their content without authorization.
- The court found merit in HOB's claims and issued a summons and notice to POI, with a hearing scheduled to consider interim relief.
- Copyright infringement and passing off are legal concepts that protect creators and businesses from unauthorized use of their intellectual property and unfair competition.
- Copyright refers to the legal protection given to creators of various works such as literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, as well as films and sound recordings.
- Copyright owners have exclusive rights to reproduce, communicate to the public, adapt, and translate their work.
- Copyright infringement occurs when someone uses a substantial part of a copyrighted work without authorization from the copyright owner.
- In this case, HOB alleged that POI had replicated several images and videos from its platform, which may have constituted copyright infringement.
- Substantial imitation refers to the extent to which one work imitates another. It's not always about the quantity of content copied but can also pertain to the quality or importance of the copied elements.
- The court in this case found "substantial imitation" between HOB and POI in terms of their storytelling format and the use of identical or imitative images.
- Even if a small but distinctive part of a work is copied, it can be considered infringement.
- Passing off is a legal concept that deals with unfair competition and misrepresentation in the business or trade world.
- It occurs when one entity deliberately creates a product or service that is similar to another, leading to confusion among consumers.
- In this case, HOB claimed that the similarities between POI's content and its own amounted to passing off and unfair competition. HOB alleged that POI knowingly and deliberately published content that was identical or substantially similar to HOB's, aiming to benefit from the goodwill and reputation built by HOB.
What next in this case?
- HOB sought interim relief from the court, requesting that POI be restrained from appropriating HOB's unique format of storytelling until a final decision is reached in the case. Interim relief is a temporary measure that courts can grant to protect the rights of the plaintiff while the case is ongoing.
- The court issued a summons and notice to POI and scheduled a hearing for October 11 to consider HOB's request for interim relief.
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Q. Consider the following statements:
Statement 1: Copyright infringement occurs when someone uses a substantial part of a copyrighted work without authorization from the copyright owner.
Statement 2: Copyright owners have exclusive rights to reproduce, communicate to the public, adapt, and translate their work.
Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?
A) Both Statement-1 and Statement-2 are correct, and Statement-2 is the correct explanation for Statement-1
B) Both Statement-1 and Statement-2 are correct, and Statement-2 is not the correct explanation for Statement-1
C) Statement-1 is correct, but Statement-2 is incorrect
D) Statement-1 is incorrect, but Statement-2 is correct
Statement-1 and Statement-2 are both correct, and Statement-2 explains Statement-1. Copyright infringement, as described in Statement-1, involves the unauthorized use of a substantial part of a copyrighted work, and Statement-2 explains the exclusive rights of copyright owners, which supports the concept of infringement.