[YashRaj Copyrights case] Delhi High Court issues summons and notice to the American video sharing application ‘Triller’

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: The Single Judge bench of Amit Bansal, J., issued summons in the suit and notice in the application under Order XXXIX Rules 1 and 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (‘C.P.C.’) to the American video sharing app ‘Triller'(‘defendant’) in a copyright infringement case filed by well-known Yash Raj Films production house (‘plaintiff’).

By way of this suit, the plaintiff sought permanent injunction by restraining the defendant from infringing the plaintiff’s copyright in sound recordings, musical works and literary works owned by the plaintiff.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant’s acts of infringement arose from exploitation of the said works on the defendant’s website and mobile application. The defendant used an extraction tool, which made available the plaintiff’s copyright works to its users for uploading of audio-visual content or short videos. It also stored, reproduced, made copies, created new works embodying the plaintiff’s copyright works, commercially exploited, communicates to the public, modified and synchronised the aforesaid acts by the users of the defendant’s platform, without procuring a valid license or authorisation from the plaintiff.

The plaintiff further contended that the defendant relied on the ‘safe-harbour’ protection guaranteed to intermediaries under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, 1998 which also finds place in Indian law in the form of Information Technology Act, 2000, (‘IT Act’) in order to continue its infringing activity.

The plaintiff allegedly issued Cease and Desist Notices to the defendant, in response to which some links indicated in the notices were taken down by the defendant. However, the defendant failed to comply with its takedown obligation effectively and several of the links still remained active and continued to resurface repeatedly.

The plaintiff contended that the impugned platforms contained various features, such as the audio extraction feature, which are beyond the limited role of an intermediary specified under Section 79 (2)(a) of the IT Act, thereby disentitling the defendant from the ‘safe-harbour’ protection guaranteed to intermediaries under the IT Act.

The counsel for the defendant was directed to file a written statement after taking due instructions with regard to the aforesaid.

The Court posted the matter for hearing on 02-02-2023.

[YashRaj Films Private Limited v. Triller Inc, 2023 SCC OnLine Del 120, Order dated 10-01-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Adv Abhishek Malhotra and Adv Shilpa Gamnani, for the Petitioner;

Adv Anuj P. Agarwala, Adv Bhumika Sharma and Adv Aurito Mukherji, for the Respondent.

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