Advertisement for late Jagjit Singh “live in concert” held misleading and in breach of intellectual property & privacy rights

Delhi High Court: Chitra Jagjit Singh, wife of  ghazal maestro late Jagjit Singh moved the application in High Court against the organiser-defendants claiming that  Indian Performing Right Society (Defendant 1)  continued to issue  licence in respect of late Shri Jagjit Singh’s works, even though it was no longer a copyright society registered under the Copyright Act, 1957 even as per its own admission. Defendants 2 and 3 were advertising the said concert as  “Jagjit Singh live in concert” and that Jagjit Singh “sings again for charity”.

In furtherance of the order dated March 14, 2016†, the Bench of Vipin Sanghi, J. categorically observed that the advertisement published for the “live-in concert” was clearly misleading and prima faie, breaches the right to privacy and other intellectual property rights of the plaintiff inasmuch as the picture and likeness of late Jagjit Singh is prominently displayed and the advertisement states “Jagjit Singh live in concert”. Apart from this, the advertisement is published on the online booking site bookmyshow, which includes the name of the artist “Jagjit Singh”. The endeavour of the defendants clearly appears to mislead the unwary public into believing that late Jagjit Singh would be performing at the show.

The Court observed that though the defendants claimed that the said advertisement mentioned that the  image and face of late Jagjit Singh taken from his previous concert will be played live, it is not explained as to how and from whom the defendants have obtained the copyright of the said works.

The Court observed that considering that the defendants had already booked the show, which was to fund charity and sold the tickets, the defendants were directed to forthwith discontinue advertising the said show by using the picure of late Shri Jagjit Singh, or using his name, much less potraying the same to be “live-in concert”. Defendants 2 and 3 were directed to deposit Rs 5 lakhs to secure the rights of the plaintiff on or before March 18, 2016. In the event of non-compliance of the aforesaid conditions, Defendants 2 and 3 were restrained from holding the concert*. Further it was ordered that Defendants 2 and 3 shall not hold any similar concerts in future without prior permission of the Court. Interim order dated March 14, 2016 shall continue to operate against Defendant 1. The matter is now posted on May 5, 2016 for further hearing of the application. [Chitra Jagjit Singh v. Indian Performing Right Society Ltd., 2016 SCC OnLine Del 2315order dated March 16, 2016]

Ed.: Vide order dated March 14, 2016, IPRS forthwith restrained from granting any licence/receiving licence fee from any third party in respect of Chitra Singh and Jagjit Singh’s works.

*Ed.: The concert was held on March 18, 2016 at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi.

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