Gujarat High Court: While deciding the instant matter concerning copyright infringement, the Bench of Niral Mehta, J., observed that a bare perusal of Section 51 of the Copyright Act, 1957 makes it clear that if any person uses any product without the permission of the license owner or from the Registrar, the same would amount to infringement of copyright.
The instant application was filed before the Court seeking quashment of the FIR against the applicant. The counsel of the applicant submitted that present impugned FIR is nothing but a sheer abuse of process of law. It was further submitted that the impugned FIR has been filed by respondent with an objective to oust the applicant from the business. Heavy reliance was placed upon the certificates of registration of copyright issued by the Registrar of Copyright and Section 51 of the Copyright Act, which states that if any person without a licence granted by the owner of the copyright or the Registrar of Copyright under the said Act does anything, then it would amount to infringement. It was contended that since the applicant had the certificates issued by the Registrar of Copyright, therefore, they cannot be said to have committed any infringement.
Meanwhile the respondents strongly opposed the application.
Perusing the contentions presented, the Court observed that issues raised in the matter require consideration. However, the Court did grant an interim relief to the applicant while stating its prima facie reasons for the same’
Section 51 of the Copyright Act is clear as to what amounts to copyright infringement. However, in the present case, the applicant is a holder of a certificate issued by the Registrar of Copyright; thus, prima facie, ingredients of Section 51 have not been satisfied.
The Court further stated that invocation of Section 64 of the Copyright Act by the police in the FIR is nothing, but a sheer non-application of mind by the police because Section 64 is not an offence, but the power given to the Police or Investigating Officer to seize the material if any infringement is found.
[Maheshbhai @ Kanbhai Haribhai Sojitra v. State of Gujarat, 2022 SCC OnLine Guj 1308, decided on 14-09-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case:
Pratik Jasani, Advocate, for the Applicant(s) No. 1;
Pranav Trivedi, APP, Advocate, for the Respondent(s) No. 1.
*Sucheta Sarkar, Editorial Assistant, has prepared this brief.