Del HC | Telegram directed to take down channels of its users infringing Dainik Jagran’s copyright and trademark rights

Delhi High Court: Mukta Gupta, J., directed “Telegram” to take down the channels that are infringing plaintiff’s rights and granted ad-interim injunction to Jagran Prakashan Limited.

Plaintiffs’ claim in the present suit is that its digital e-paper is available on www.jagran.com. Readers of the newspaper have the option to either subscribe the physical/print newspaper or they can log on to the plaintiff’s website for the purpose of reading the said daily newspaper.

Plaintiff’s counsel, Jeevesh Mehta submitted that taking into consideration the present circumstances of spread of COVID-19 pandemic, plaintiff is not charging any subscription fee from its readers in India. Though fee of 1 dollar is being charged in other countries.

Further, plaintiff claims to be the exclusive owner of the trademark Dainik Jagran.

Grievance as placed by the plaintiff is that, defendant 1 (Telegram) a cloud based instant messaging and voice over IP service, allows its users to create channels while not disclosing the identity of these users and these users have created channels on which plaintiffs e-paper are being uploaded in PDF format on daily basis.

With the creation of these channels, users can now download the previous editions of e-paper too which otherwise would not have been available, if not subscribed.

Plaintiff alleged that defendant 1 was indulging into reproducing, adopting, distributing, transmitting and disseminating the e-newspapers of the plaintiff and thereby not only causing the plaintiff serious financial loss but also violating the plaintiff’s trademark rights as well as copyrights in the e-newspaper. 

Defendant 1 is required to conduct due diligence and in terms of Rule 3 sub-rule 4 of the Information Technology (Intermediaries Guidelines) Rules, 2011 on being informed about the misuse, the defendant No.1 is required to pull down the said channels within 36 hours.

Bench on perusal of the above stated that, balance of convenience lies in favour of the plaintiff.

Consequently, an ad-interim injunction is granted in favour of plaintiff and against defendant’s 1 and 2. Further, defendant 1 is also directed to disclose the basic subscriber information/identity of the users/owners of the channels. 

Thus, defendant 1 is directed to take down/block the telegram channels or any other similar channels infringing rights of plaintiff with 48 hours of receipt of this order. [Jagran Prakashan Limited v. Telegram FZ LLC,  2020 SCC OnLine Del 615 , decided on 29-05-2020]

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