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APPLAUSE ENTERTAINMENTPRIVATE LIMITED VS.META PLATFORMS INC. AND OTHERS

Recently, the Bombay High Court granted a dynamic injunction in favour of Applause Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. (“Plaintiff”) against thirty-two (32) Instagram handles in a suit alleging copyright infringement of the OTT series, Scam 1992: The Harshad Mehta Story, which streams exclusively on the OTT platform, Sony Liv.


As per the Plaintiff, by virtue of an assignment agreement between the Plaintiff and the author of the book which inspired the Scam 1992 series, all rights, title and interest, for the purpose of adapting it on screen vest with the Plaintiff. Further, the OTT platform, Sony Liv, has the exclusive right to stream this web series. The Plaintiff also claimed that it has the publicity and character rights pertaining to the web-series and members of the cast. It was the case of the Plaintiff that it had come across numerous Instagram accounts which were communicating substantial parts of the web series to the public to promote their businesses. Before approaching the court, the Plaintiff had filed complaints with Instagram against these handles, but Instagram did not take any action.


The court noted that the Plaintiff had placed sufficient documents on record to demonstrate that a strong prima facie case is made out in its favour. The court further observed that it is evident that the web series can be viewed only on the OTT platform, SonyLIV, and any other form of communication or broadcast of the web series or any part thereof, would amount to violation of the Plaintiff’s copyright.


In light of the above, the court directed Meta Platforms Inc. to remove the infringing posts on its platform and further ordered that it disclose the contacts details, IP adresses and physical location of the owners of these accounts. Further, the dynamic injunction allows for extension of the order against similar websites/platforms that are infringing upon the Plaintiff’s copyright.


Applause Entertainment Private Limited v. Meta Platforms Inc. and Ors., Commercial IP Suit (Lodging) No. 10238 of 2023, Order dt. May 2, 2023

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