Rostrum’s Law Review | ISSN: 2321-3787

Intellectual Property Rights Conundrums in Indian Film Industry: Need for a Clear Legislation

‘All persons enjoy equal rights in their own property irrespective of their celebrity status’[i]

The recent controversy between Bhajrangi Bhaijaan and Chand Nawab has sparked a debate on personality rights in India. This is not the first case which garnered the attention of the public. Earlier,the famed tamil actor,Rajnikanth also approached the Madras High Court for the protection and enforcement of personality rights vested in him.[ii] Films such as Jai Ho[iii] and Hamara Bajaj[iv] have instigated and brought about various issues of trademark infringement. Also, producers of films which directed Rahasya[v] and Gulabi Gang[vi] have also been dragged to the courts by persons who alleged that the movies, being allegedly based on their lives, infringe their rights of privacy or defame them.

Law naturally finds its way into all industries and sectors and the Indian Film Industry is no different. In today’s world of increased internationalization and commercialization of films, the relationship between IPR and films cannot be underplayed. Given the emergence and rapid growth of economic interests in films, it certainly cannot escape the application of Intellectual property rights.

This essay explicates a succinct account of the subtleties associated with the interplay between the Intellectual Property Law and The Indian Film Industry. While expounding the impugned facets, the paper passively highlights ‘Personality Rights’, ‘Copyright and trademark issues’, ‘John Doe orders’ and ‘Indian Film Industry Vis-a Vis CCI’ in the realm of Intellectual property law.


India is only the 14th largest entertainment and media market in the world with industry revenues contributing about 1% of its GDP. However, industry stakeholders acknowledge and ferret out the fact that India has the potential to achieve path-breaking growth over the next few years; possibly to reach a size of USD 100 billion.[vii]

The Indian media and entertainment sector, particularly the film industry—popularly known as Bollywood, has experienced resilient growth over the last few years and has become the sunrise sector of the economy. The film industry in India is  expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (“CAGR”) of 13.9 per cent to grow from INR 1026 billion in 2014 to reach INR 1964 billion by 2019,a growth rate that is almost double that of the global media and entertainment industry.[viii]

In the recent years, several Bollywood films have successively broken previous records on box office collections, which have perhaps also attracted both multinational entertainment companies and Indian conglomerates to invest in Bollywood films.

Earlier, the Indian film industry had a social relationship, i.e., the agreements were either oral or scantily documented and the disputes were usually resolved without going into arbitration or litigation. This, however, meant absence of proper procedure of title documentation leading to uncertainty in the flow of rights. Only in the past few years, the Indian film industry has woken up to the need for written contracts and protection of intellectual property (“IP”) rights. The need arose because the Indian film industry witnessed a paradigm shift in its structure in the last decade. Previously, the films where funded by private money lenders, often mafia money, primarily interested in the collections from distribution rights or the box-office and ignored the residual income from the repurposing of the IP. But, after it was vouchsafed the “industry status” in 2000 by the Government of India, the following years saw the films receiving funding from the banks, and Indian corporates such as Sahara, Reliance group, Mahindra and foreign studios such as Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and the like. The banks, Indian corporations and foreign investors insisted on written contracts with the producers and required the producers to have watertight contracts with the cast and the crew including appropriate chain of title documentation.[ix] With the increase in commercialization opportunities, the celebrities that hesitated to sign even a one page contract until early 2000 started presenting detailed written contracts to preserve their commercialization rights, e.g., merchandising rights. On one hand, albiet the growth of this industry has been prodigious; on the other hand, the bling world of Bollywood has witnessed a rush of litigations for reasons including infringement of IP rights and breach of contract (e.g. non-payment and non-fulfillment of commitments by talents, distributors and producers). The phenomenon has struck innumerable movies of late, including the Oscar winning Slumdog Millionaire, requiring the producers and distributors to spend their days prior to the openings pacing court corridors instead of preparing for their premieres. Sometimes, these controversies seem to crop up strategically, just before the release.

The Rakesh Roshan’s film were amongst the earlier ones to be hit, with damages of INR 20 million before the release of the film Krazzy 4 in 2007, as music composer Ram Sampath had alleged that the title song of the movie had been plagiarized from tunes he had composed earlier.[x] Several attempts were made to stall the releases of  Jodha Akbar and Singh is King on religious grounds, while Ghajini was victimized by litigations over remake rights and copyright infringement just five days before its release[xi]. Earlier, there were quite a few unauthorized remakes of foreign films in various Indian languages. However, no actions were taken against such films, probably because foreign studios did not consider India as their competition. With the globalization of the Indian film industry and entry of foreign players in India, there is an increase in litigation on this facet as well. Bollywood production house BR Films had been sued by 20th Century Fox for allegedly copying the storyline and script of its comedy My Cousin Vinny in the movie Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai.[xii] In a case filed before the Bombay High Court in 2010, Twentieth Century Fox alleged that the Bollywood film Knock Out which was about to release in India, was an infringement of their copyright in their film Phone Booth. The court held that the test of concluding whether the second work is an infringement depends on the impression of the average viewer. The court, on comparing the two films, found that there was a case of copyright infringement and that also that there was little doubt that a person seeing both the films at different times would come to an unmistakable conclusion that Knock Out is a copy of Phone Booth. An injunction was granted restraining the release, exhibition or broadcast of the film Knock Out[xiii].


When the movie ‘Main Hoon Rajinikanth’ was close to its release, the renowned Actor, Rajnikant approached the High Court of Madras for the protection and enforcement of personality rights vested in him.[xiv] However, personality rights do not have any statutory recognition in India per se. In contemporary era, the notion has gained prominence due to the increasing number of celebrity endorsement and commercialization. Celebrity rights are either secured as right to privacy or they can be ensured as the property of a persona.

In consonance of Article 6 bis of Bern Convention the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 related to the provision of moral rights. This does not directly provides moral rights to the author, but such rights are provided as the special right to author. These rights are independent and parallel of the author’s economic rights.[xv] Arguably, it is logical for moral rights standards to include some kind of protection for an author’s personality, since the moral rights doctrine is itself based on the idea that the author’s personality is reflected in his works.[xvi] Personality rights by and large comprise of two sorts of rights: the right to publicity, or to keep one’s representation and resemblance from being commercially misused without authorization or contractual remuneration, which is like the utilization of a trademark; and the right to privacy, or the right to be left alone and not have one’s charisma epitomized carte blanche.[xvii] The right of informational privacy can offer a mixed bag of rights which on one hand, provides the right to deny access to certain personal information; and on the other, then it privileges the individual to prohibit the publicity of his own name and picture, which has shown itself in the ‘right to publicity’ which is principally the right of a person to govern the utilization of his or her name, picture, resemblance or other unequivocal parts of his or her uniqueness.[xviii] In the absence of statutory support and sufficient judicial precedents governing personality rights per se, the legal system in India, at present, is lacking in dealing with the modern phenomena of celebrity’s integrity rights.[xix] However, Courts at several instances has upheld the claims of personality rights.[xx]

  • In ICC Development (International) Limited v Arvee Enterprises[xxi] , Delhi High Court held that violation of the privacyrights would draw Articles 19 and 21 of the Constitution. It called for a more advanced position in DM Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. v. Infant Gift House, [xxii]which put reliance on Ali v. Playgirl Inc.[xxiii] and focused upon “proprietary interest in the profitability of his public reputation or persona” to hold that the privilege of attention secures against “the unauthorized appropriation of an individual’s very persona which would result in an unearned commercial gain to another”.[xxiv] The judgment is remarkable as it perceives personality rights as a right more similar to an alienable property right and linking it to Article 21 than only ensuring the integrity of an individual. [xxv]
  • InDM Entertainment  Jhaveri[xxvi] , the Delhi High Court restrained the defendant from using the trademark “Daler Mahendi”, thus recognizing the fact that an entertainer’s name may have trademark significance.
  • In the case of Titan Industries Limited Vs. Ramkumar Jewellers[xxvii], The celebrity couple,Amitabh Bachchan and Jaya Bachchan signed a contract to endorse and advertise the range of diamond jewelry sold under the brand name Tanishq. The couple had assigned all the rights in their personality to the plaintiff to be used in advertisements in all media, including print and video. The plaintiff had invested huge sums of money in the promotional campaign. The defendant, a jeweller dealing in identical goods to those of the plaintiff, was found to have put up a hoarding identical to the plaintiff’s, including the same photograph of the celebrity couple displayed on the plaintiff’s hoarding. Since the defendant had neither sought permission from the couple to use their photograph, nor been authorised to do so by the plaintiff, the court held it liable not only for infringement of the plaintiff’s copyright in the advertisement, but also for misappropriation of the couple’s personality rights. The court thereby granted an interim injunction in favour of the plaintiff while specifically recognizing the couple’s rights in their personalities.
  • In the case of Sampat Pal v. Sahara One Media & Entertainment Ltd[xxviii], the plaintiff had filed a suit for permanent injunction and damages in the Delhi High Court against the film “Gulaab Gang” which she claimed was an adaptation of her life story into a movie and that the portrayal of the characters in the film defamed her and degraded her along with the others members of her organization “Gulabi Gang”. In an appeal by Sahara One Media and Entertainment, the Division Bench of the Delhi High Court allowed the release of the film with a condition in the Disclaimer that Sahara can show the film by stating that it has ‘nothing whatsoever to do with the life and works of Sampat Pal and her organization’.

When a writer has an idea, he shares with multiple individuals and wishes to scout for script development funding. Copyright law grants protection not to an idea but to its expression. Hence, there is no copyright protection available to an idea, unless given a tangible form with adequate details. With a single idea (or even concept note), multiple storylines can be developed, each capable of separate copyright protection. Hence, the only way the script writer may be able to protect the idea or concept note would be through non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). The courts have upheld protection of idea through such non-disclosure agreements or when the idea has been communicated in confidence.[xxix] In the case of Zee Telefilms Ltd. v Sundial Communications Pvt. Ltd.[xxx] , Sundial developed the idea of a TV series called Krish Kanhaiya’ and approached the Managing Director of Zee and shared a concept note where the basic plot and the character sketches were outlined in confidence. Later, it was found that a TV series called Kanhaiya was broadcasted on Zee TV and this series was substantially similar in nature to the idea that Sundial had communicated to Zee. Sundial filed a suit against Zee and, inter-alia, sought for injunction. At the interim stage, a single Judge bench of Bombay High Court granted an injunction. In an appeal against this injunction by Zee, the Bombay High Court opined that an average person would definitely conclude that Zee’s film was based on Sundial’s script and hence upheld the injunction against Zee as Sundial’s business prospect and goodwill would seriously suffer if the confidential information of this kind was allowed to be used. In cases of disputes, in addition to NDAs, the writer would have to prove that he originated the idea and the date of origination. The end of year 2014 also witnessed some copyright infringement cases with respect to the film Lingaa wherein the division bench of the Madras High Court has directed the producer to deposit Rs. 10 crores in the court and allowed release of the film.[xxxi] In an another dispute, PepsiCo after learning about the movie being released under the title “YOUNGISTAAN” sought to restrain the producers, MSM Motion Pictures and Vashu Bhagnani from advertising, promoting and releasing the film under the above mentioned title. The Delhi High Court in its order stated that the two parties agreed to settle the matter amicably with the defendants agreeing to give a disclaimer stating that the movie is not related or associated with Pepsi’s Youngistaan Campaign and has no connection with Pepsi’s registered trademark “Youngistaan.[xxxii]

3.1 Adaptations From Books and the Authors’ Special Rights

When the script is taken from a previously authored book, apart from the assignment of copyright, it is also pertinent to take into account section 57 (1) (b) of the Copyright Act which deals with Authors’ Special Rights which, inter-alia, gives the author the right to claim authorship. While it is obvious that some changes are inevitable when a novel is converted to a motion picture, the provision states that the work cannot be distorted or mutilated or otherwise cause disrepute to the original author. If the filmmaker defaults, the author and his legal heirs can sue him under the provisions of the Copyright Act claiming violation of moral rights. Moral rights are not assignable. The Indian courts are yet to opine on whether the same can be waived.[xxxiii]

3.2 The differentiating factor- “ordinary observer” test

In R.G. Anand v. Delux Films[xxxiv] the court incorporated the “ordinary observer” test wherein they held that “one of the surest and the safest test to determine whether or not there has been a violation of copyright is to see if the reader, spectator or the viewer after having read or seen both the works is clearly of the opinion and gets an unmistakable impression that the subsequent work appears to be a copy of the original”. This standard was first observed in US, in the case of Daly v. Palmer.[xxxv] In effect, the test holds that if an ordinary viewer reasonably concludes on comparison that the works are similar the infringement can be established if no license for the same has been obtained.  R.G. Anand further emphasised on the intention of the parties to copy and for establishing the same, not only the material similarities, but also the broad dissimilarities must be looked into. It also took into account that where the theme is same but its presentation is different, subsequent work becomes “completely new” and violation cannot be established. This test evolved in Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation v. Zee Telefilm[xxxvi] where, the courts held that the infringement should be substantial and to assess this, the alleged parts must first be considered individually and then in totality to judge the similarity. They further held that determination substantial infringement has to be decided by its quality rather than by its quantity.  

3.3 ‘John Doe OR Ashok Kumar Orders’

The Year 2015, witnessed a number of John Doe orders not only for films but also for major sports events to prevent their piracy particularly on the digital media. Films like ‘Darr@ the Mall’[xxxvii] , ‘Youngistaan’[xxxviii] , ‘Bang Bang’[xxxix] , ‘Happy New Year’ and ‘Roar-The Tigers of Sunderbans’ obtained favorable John Doe orders. Likewise, MSM obtained John Doe orders against several rogue websites to prevent illegal streaming of ‘India- New Zealand Cricket Series’[xl]and ‘FIFA World Cup, 2014’[xli] while Star India Pvt. Ltd obtained a favorable John Doe order for the ‘2014 India England Series’ .

With the advent of advancement in digital technology, it has allowed copyright owners to promulgate their work across borders at the click of a button. Territorial barriers no longer serve as a hindrance and work can be circulated at a reduced cost. However, these advancements have inadvertently made certain industries more vulnerable to copyright infringement, for example, the Indian film industry. While copyrighted work has always been prone to infringement, the invention of the internet has taken infringement to another level, enabling piracy in a matter of minutes. In order to address the impediments like copyright infringement, the concept of John Doe orders, erstwhile having Indian alias ‘Ashok Kumar orders’, have been introduced in India. John Doe orders are based on the premise, “if litigating finger is directed at unknown defendants, the inability to identify him by name is a mere misnomer“.[xlii]The rationale being that the mystery of defendant’s identity should not be an obstacle in pursuance of justice. The principles which are applicable for grant of interim relief are applicable for obtaining ‘John Doe’ orders as well, i.e. the plaintiff is required to prove the existence of a prima facie case, balance of convenience in its favor and irreparable loss caused due to the illegal activities of the defendant.

Such ‘John Doe’ or ‘Ashok Kumar’ orders have also been granted by the Delhi High Court in judgments relating to Bollywood films such as  Thank You, Singham, Bodyguard, Dhoom 3[xliii], Department[xliv],and Speedy Singhs.[xlv]

The court, with an endeavor to stave off piracy in the media industry, passed ad-interim ex-parte injunction against the unidentified defendants. In the Thank You case[xlvi], the producer, having experienced violation of its copyright in its earlier films committed by several known and unknown cable operators who telecast pirated versions of the plaintiff’s films on cable networks, was apprehensive of damages being caused to it monetarily and in terms of reputation due to the violations committed. As a result, prior to the release of Thank You, the plaintiff filed a suit before the Delhi High Court seeking to restrain the cable operators, known and unknown, from telecasting / broadcasting / distributing pirated versions of the film. The Delhi High Court passed a restraining order in favor of the plaintiff.

 Similarly, in the Singham case[xlvii], the producer was apprehensive of the fact that copies of the movie will be made and sold or distributed in the form of DVDs or CDs in the market and/or shown on TV by cable operators. This could have resulted in a huge financial loss to the plaintiff. Thus, the plaintiff filed a suit before the Delhi High Court and contended that if the film was shown or broadcasted on cable, interneo,DTH or illegally distributed through CD, DVD, Blue-ray, VCD MMS, tapes etc, by unauthorized personnel, the same would cause huge burden on the plaintiff as public would refrain from visiting the theatres to watch the movie. This would therefore result in lower collections at the box office and would prejudice the interest of the plaintiff. In this case, the Court, relying on the principles of quia timet passed a restraining order against all defendants and other unnamed undisclosed persons from distributing, displaying, duplicating, uploading, downloading or exhibiting the movie in any manner and infringing the copyright of the plaintiff through different mediums without prior license from the plaintiff.

When a ‘John Doe/Ashok Kumar’ order is passed, the plaintiff can serve a copy of the same on the party which is violating the order and seek adherence to the order. It should also be noted that failure to comply with the order may result in initiation of contempt proceedings. It is, however, open to the defendant to argue their case and prove their innocence, like in any other IP infringement matter. The courts have taken an over enthusiastic approach in granting these orders. A balance between the rights of the movie producers and that of the public is absent which needs to be taken in consideration. Issuance of vague John Doe orders will only serve as an hindrance to the already struggling internet freedom.


Movie titles are safeguarded according to the fundamental tenets of trademark and unfair competition law. In India, a title of a film may be registered under class 41 of Schedule 4 of the Trademark Act.[xlviii] For example, Yash Raj Films Pvt. Ltd. has filed applications[xlix] for trade mark registrations for Dhoom Machale[l] (song), Dhoom,[li] Dhoom 2,[lii] Dhoom 3[liii]and for Back in Action[liv]; while Vinod Chopra Productions has obtained a registered trade mark for the label of Munna Bhai MBBS[lv] and the device of Munna Bhai[lvi]. Sohail Khan’s film titled ‘Jai Ho’ sparked a controversy when the renowned musician ,A. R. Rahman claimed that he owned the registered trade mark to the title of his song Jai Ho, that appeared in the finale of Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire[lvii]. However, it was reported that A. R. Rahman and the film producer arrived at an out-ofcourt settlement.

In another example of a dispute over the trademark in the title to a film, Warner Bros. attempted to restrain Mirchi movies from releasing their film, Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors due to the phonetic and visual similarity of its title to that of the Harry Potter film series.[lviii] The Delhi High Court, however, dismissed the application stating that a literate or semi-literate viewer could easily perceive the two movies on the principle “even if there is any structural or phonetic similarity between the competing marks, the real test to determine deceptive similarity is whether the targeted audience is able to discern the difference between the marks”. The Delhi High Court also held that Warner Bros. had caused a three month delay in filing the case, and cited the principle that “if the plaintiffs stood by knowingly and let the defendants build up their business or venture, then the plaintiffs would be estopped by their acquiescence from claiming equitable relief”. This case also reiterates the Courts intolerance towards laches and delay in approaching the Court in case of film litigations.


Bollywood as an industry was formally recognized in India in the Year 2000 and certain corporate houses started being active members of it after this. In the recent past, the stakeholders of film industry have approached the CCI with various concerns. These have ranged from producers alleging anti-competitive conduct of the distributors or exhibitors and vice-versa to the instances in which some producers have complained against another. In the Indian Film industry for a movie to be released and made available for the viewership of the final consumers, it has to pass through the supply chain of producers, distributors and exhibitors. However, as the functions and interests of the latter are highly fragmented, therefore these functionaries, comprising of a number of independent and small competitors, prefer to conduct their business with members of other functionaries collectively in the form of associations or groups so as to be able to enhance their bargaining power. At times, such collective action of the members of these functionaries, who are competitors of one another, relates to cartel like conduct, for which the Indian Film Industry has gained notoriety, and has been sanctioned in a number of cases.

5.1 Cost Cutting Strategies or Buyers Cartel?

Earlier this Year, the Association of the Producers of Indian Film Industry(‘Producer Guild) met in order to decide over the cost cutting strategies for the industry. The Producer Guild’s decision to take concerted action for reducing costs has been reported in various national dailies.  It has been reported that that Producer Guild had congregated at a common place and collectively agreed to limit the money spent on a film’s marketing and promotion activities. An eminent member of the fraternity was quoted as saying in the Mumbai Mirror:

‘We are confident of our films. Why are we charged so exorbitantly by TV Channels and multiplexes when we promote these films on their platforms? What hurts is that we try to outdo each other in terms of publicity. Isin’t the goose being killed before it has laid the eggs?Costs involved in Marketing need to be streamlined pronto.’’

In the present instance, a holistic approach is required to fathom the true impact of the Producer Guild decision to collectively limit their promotional costs. At first such a decision enables the producers to not compete with each other in procuring of services in relation to publicity and advertisement. This in turn may have the benefit of bringing down their own costs but may lead to demands for such services to be provided at prices that are below the competitive level, leading to foreclosure in the p&a markets. In spite of such a decision the existing P&A agencies would still compete with each other and in order to retain their market share the only option left for the would be to lower their prices or even undercut.[lix]

It highlights the presence of buyers’ cartel in the Bollywood which has so escaped the attention of the Competition Commission of India. It is arguable that  the collective action of the members of the supply chains of the Bollywood, who are competitors of one another, relates to cartel like conduct. It is high time the CCI must start investigating and stop the malpractices that are hampering the film industry at large.


India needs to fashion a glasnost policy that will be in tune with global standards and at the same time protect special Indian strengths. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said as much: “India should align its IPR laws with global standards.” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman remarked earlier that “We need an integrated policy,” While nothing significant can be inferred from these statements the government has done well to release a draft IPR policy in the public domain. Taking a balanced approach, it says that existing laws — that seek to protect the rights and incentives of innovators on the one hand and public interest on the other — would remain. However it also calls for legislative changes to keep pace with economic and technological developments.

While Indian laws certainly provide for adequate protection, the challenge really lies with its enforcement. The enforcement machinery needs to deal with fly-by-night operators who make the raids more difficult. Also, though the IPR Rules provide a framework to combat piracy, practically, there are a number of issues that one faces in implementing the processes under the IPR Rules. For instance, under the Trademarks Act and under common law, even unregistered trademarks are protected. Further, copyright does not require registration in order to qualify for protection in India. The right holders often face difficulties in convincing the authorities about their ownership of unregistered IPRs. No protection is given against ‘substantial similarity’ which is a essential ingredient in protection of celebrity rights. It is only through litigation, this accelerating problem can be disciplined. Whereas, the judiciary has repeatedly recognized existence of various aspects of the celebrity rights, it rests with the legislature to statutorily recognize commercial aspects of celebrity rights to fill up the lacunae in law and keep pace with rapid commercialization of celebrity status.

The Indian Film Industry is facing the problem of wastage owing to incomplete film projects, which forms the major chunks of 30-40% of the income potential. Filmmakers in Maharashtra are still being governed by the Bombay Entertainment Duties Act, 1923. This is a classic example of lack of attempt to effectively use legalisation as a mean of achieving adequate benefits for the entertainment industry. The rate of taxation these days continues to be a crippling 40-50% for films shown in cinema houses and multiplexes, far more than the rates of taxation in other states of India. For example, the entertainment duty levied in the Punjab state is usually nominal or virtually negligible and this makes it possible for producers to make profits on their films and manage to survive in the industry.
There is a pressing need for higher understanding of taxation, intellectual property rights, foreign exchange rules, in addition as local laws, not just for the producers and directors but also for actors, technicians, who very often have issues arising out of no or insignificant knowledge of these laws, resulting in them facing issues inadvertently.
The Government of India via the ministry of Human Resource Development has made efforts to publish a handbook of copyright law .In order to spread awareness of the rights of the stakeholders in Indian film industry to whom the law applies. With the amendment in the copyright act, there is an urgent need for artists as well as producers and other connected creators to understand the changes in the law and how it affects their talent and skills which eventually are their source to a living.

With more individuals from India turning out to be technologically oriented, it is high time that the privacy and personality rights have been conveyed as a moot point for debates.
While the run-of-the-mill IP issues abound the Indian Film industry, new issues continue to increase the challenge in the industry’s litigation landscape. Of late, issues of trademark violation, defamation and infringement of right to privacy have added to the bandwagon of litigations. The need of the hour is to take appropriate due diligence and negotiations at the documentation stage and general caution play a critical role in curbing unwarranted litigation. For ensuring that the contracts are foolproof, one must be aware of, prior to negotiations, not only the commercial aspects but also legal issues such as intellectual property rights and enforceability of the contractual arrangements. In general terms, to ensure that the films are not entangled in unnecessary litigation, concerned parties must be cautious of any issues such as copyright or trade mark infringement which maybe a potential litigation threat. Constant vigilance and timely, precautionary action alone can ensure a hassle-free film release and screening.


[i] ICC Development (International) v.Arvee Enterprises,(2003(26)PTC245Del).

[ii] Shivaji Rao Gaikwad v. Varsha Productions CS (OS) 598/2014 (Madras High Court).

[iii] Whose ‘Jai Ho’ is it?,available at: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news-interviews/Whose-Jai-Ho-is-it/articleshow/27624141.cms, Last Seen on 1/12/2015.

[iv] Bajaj Auto Limited and Anr. v. JA Entertainment Private Limited & Anr., Suit No. 491/2013 with Notice of Motion No. 1029/2013, Bombay High Court.

[v] Nupur Talwar & Anr. v. Central Board of Film & Ors., Writ Petition No. 945/2014, Bombay High Court.

[vi] Sampat Pal v. Sahara One Media & Entertainment Ltd & Ors., CS(OS) No. 638 of 2014, Delhi High Court.

[vii] FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Industry Report 2015,available at https://www.kpmg.com/IN/en/IssuesAndInsights/ArticlesPublications/Documents/FICCI-KPMG_2015.pdf,last seen on 10/12/2015.

[viii] Media and Entertainment Sector Report 2015,available at  https://www.ibef.org/industry/media-entertainment-india.aspx+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=in,last seen on 9/12/2015.

[ix] Indian Film Industry,Tackling Litigations 2014,available at https:// https://www.nishithdesai.com/fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/Research%20Papers/Indian_Film_Industry.pdf,last seen on 15/12/2015.

[x] Rakesh Roshan’s Krazzy 4 runs into legal trouble, Economic Times (08/04/2008), available at https://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2008-04-08/news/27714246_1_music-ram-sampath-film-industry,last seen on 27/11/2015.

[xi] Shamnad Basheer,Ghajini v.Fudgini:Whither Originality? Spicy IP Blog, available at https://spicyip.com/2008/12/ghajini-vs-fudgini-whither-originality.html,last seen on 01/12/2015.

[xii] 20th Century Fox sues BR Films for plagiarism, Business Standard (03/05/2015),available at https://www.business-standard.com/article/companies/20th-century-fox-sues-b-r-films-for-plagiarism-109050300065_1.html,last seen on 06/12/2015.

[xiii] Mayura Janwalkar,Bollywood tries to ‘Knock out’ 20th Century Fox in Court,Dna India (12/08/2010).available at https://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report-bollywood-tries-to-knock-out-20th-century-fox-in-court-1451355,last seen on 26/11/2015.

[xiv] Supra 2.

[xv] Nidhi Kumari, Moral Rights Of Author, Academike (Apr. 6, 2015), available at https://www.lawctopus.com/academike/moral-rights-author,last seen on 12 /12/2015)

[xvi] Mira T. Sundara Rajan, Bharati and His Copyright, THE HINDU, Dec. 22, 2004 at , https://www.thehindu.com/2004/12/22/stories/2004122200621000.htm

[xvii] A. S. Vishwajith & Samira Varanasi, I Am MINE….OR Am I? Analysing the Need for a Property Right in Personal Information, 5IJIPL 106 (2012)

[xviii] Id

[xix] Tabrez Ahmad & Satya Ranjan Swain, Celebrity Rights: Protection Under IP Laws, 16 J. OF INTELL. PROP. RTS. 7-16 (2011).

[xx] ICC Development (International) Ltd. v. Arvee Enterprises and Anr., 2003 (26) PTC 245; Magna Publications Co. Ltd., and Others v. Shilpa S. Shetty, AIR 2008 SC 681; Manisha Koirala v. Shashilal Nair, (2003) (1) AIIMR 426; Ms. Barkha Dutt v. Easy Ticket, Kapavarapu, Vas, Case No. D2009-1247 (WIPO); Shilpa S. Shetty v. Magna Publications Co., Ltd. and Ors., AIR 2001 Bom 176; Sonu Nigam v. Amrik Singh (alias Mika Singh) & Anr, CS 372/2013(Bombay High Court); Titan Industries Ltd. v. M/S Ramkumar Jewellers, CS(OS) 2662/2011

[xxi] 2003 (26) PTC 245 (Del).

[xxii] Id.

[xxiii] 447 F Supp 723.

[xxiv] Paul M. Schwartz, Beyond Lessig’s Code for Internet Privacy: Cyberspace Filters, Privacy-control and Fair Information Practices, [2000]WIS. L. REV. 743, 751.

[xxv] Freeman v Apple Inc, No 5:2010-CV-05881.

[xxvi] Case 1147/2001

[xxvii] CS (OS) No.2662/2011

[xxviii] Supra 6.

[xxix] Anil Gupta v Kunal Dasgupta, AIR 2002 Del 379; (iii) Zee Entertainment Enterprises Ltd. v. Gajendra Singh and Ors. MANU/MH/0834/2007; (iv) Urmi Juvekar Chian v. Global Broadcast News Ltd. and Anr., MANU/ MH/0315/2007 and (v) Celador Productions Ltd. v. Gaurav Mehrotra, MANU/DE/0045/2002

[xxx] 2003 (5) BomCR 404

[xxxi] Linga making headlines before release,Lexorbis Blog,available at https://www.lexorbis.com/linga-making-headlines-before-release/,last seen on 15/12 /2015.

[xxxii] Mathews P.George,Producers of ‘Youngistan’ accused of Infringement,Spicy IP Blog,available at https://spicyip.com/2014/02/producers-of-youngistan-accused-of-infringement.html,last seen on 17/11/2015.

[xxxiii] Debadyuti Banerjee & Parth Gokhle,The ‘3 Idiots Controversy’-Focusing on the Contractual liabilities and moral rights of the Author,3,NUJS Law Review 53,68 (2010).

[xxxiv] AIR 1978 SC 1613.

[xxxv] 6F.Cas.1132 (C.C.S.D.N.Y.1868).

[xxxvi] CS (OS) No.868/2005.

[xxxvii] Multi Screen Media Pvt.Ltd v. www.vimeo.com and ors. CS (OS) No.469/2014.

[xxxviii] Multi Screen Media Pvt.Ltd v. www.vimeo.com and ors. CS (OS) No.893/2014.

[xxxix] Fox Star Studios India Limited v/s John Ceedge & Ors CS(OS) No.2975/2014.

[xl] MSM Satellite (Singapore) Pte Ltd & Ors v/s Ashok Country Resort and Ors CS (OS) No. 145/ 2014.

[xli] Multi Screen Media Pvt. Ltd Vs Sunit Singh and ors. CS (OS) 1860/2014.

[xlii] Taj Television Ltd. and ors. v. Rajan Mandal and ors. (CS(OS) No. 1072/2002)

[xliii] Yash Raj Films Pvt Ltd v. Cable Operators Federation of India & Ors., C.S. (O.S.) 2335/2013, I.A. 19123/2013, 19124/2013 and 19421/2013, Delhi High Court

[xliv] I.A. No.9096/2012 in C.S. (O.S.) No. 1373/2012

[xlv] I.A. No. 15224/2011 in C.S. (O.S.) No. 2352/2011

[xlvi] I.A. No. 5383/2011 in C.S. (O.S.) No. 821 of 2011

[xlvii] Reliance Big Entertainment Pvt Ltd vs Jyoti Cable Networks & Ors in CS(OS) No. 1724 of 2011, Delhi High Court

[xlviii] India follows the Nice Classification of trade marks established under the Nice Agreement 1957.

[xlix] As viewed on September 10, 2014 on the Trade Mark Registry Public Search website. Available at: https://ipindiaservices.gov.in/tmrpublicsearch/frmmain.aspx.

[l] Ibid. Trade Mark Application Number: 2493345.

[li] Ibid. Trade Mark Application Number: 2474055.

[lii] Ibid. Trade Mark Application Number: 2474127.

[liii] Ibid. Trade Mark Application Number: 2193798.

[liv] Ibid. Trade Mark Application Number: 2095311.

[lv] Ibid. Trade Mark Application Number: 1780467.

[lvi] Ibid. Trade Mark Application Number: 1780364.

[lvii] Slumdog Millionaire (2008) – Awards, IMDb; Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1010048/awards. Last visited on 23/11/2015.

[lviii] Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Ors. v. Harinder Kohli and Ors., 155 (2008) DLT 56

[lix] Arunabh Choudhary & Dhruv Mallik,Is Bollywood becoming a classic case for ‘Buyers’ Cartel’? 7(4) Lex Witness 26,29(2015)


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