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Storytelling platform Humans of Bombay files a copyright infringement lawsuit against another platform

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Storytelling platform Humans of Bombay files a copyright infringement lawsuit against another platform

The Delhi High Court issued notice to a defendant in response to an application for initial relief in a copyright infringement action involving two popular Indian online portals.

Popular online storytelling platform “Humans of Bombay” (HOB) in India sued another similar platform “People of India” (POI) for copyright infringement accusing the latter of copying its business model and stories.

According to the application, the defendant POI is accused of having violated the copyright in videos posted on HOB's Instagram and YouTube accounts. The application further claims that POI did not seek permission to use HOB's "literary work" to generate duplicate cinematograph films, as well as copied HOB's distinctive storytelling format.

Appearing before a single-judge bench on behalf of HOB earlier this week, advocate Abhishek Malhotra stated that POI copied photographs and videos from HOB's website and used them on its own platform.

He referred to a table comparing some of the images mentioned in the application, which indicated that POI completely replicated the business model and in some cases the stories themselves.

“…the similarities between the Infringing Content and the Plaintiff’s content not just constitutes infringement of copyright owned by the Plaintiff, but also, to passing off and unfair competition, as the Defendants have, evidently, knowingly and deliberately, published content that is identical or substantially similar to the popular Content comprised of Plaintiffs Works in an attempt to ride on goodwill that has been painstakingly built by the Plaintiff,” the plea stated.

Justice Prathiba Singh thereupon issued notice to the defendant – meaning that the court formally communicated the initiation of the aggrieved party’s case to the accused – and set a date to hear the application, noting that “Perusal of the same would show that there is substantial imitation and in some cases photos are identical.”

HOB has requested the court to order POI to remove all of HOB's work, whether created directly or indirectly by the latter.

The parties will return to court on October 11th.

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Mark Laudi

Mark Laudi

Press contact Managing Partner (+65) 6223 2249

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