A Suit was filed before the Hon'ble Bombay High Court for reinstatement of the YouTube links of the films "Ustadon Ke Ustad", "Soutela", "Namak", "Khopdi" and "Bijli" on the YouTube channel "NH Studioz", owned by M/s Narendra Hirawat & Co.
As per YouTube policy, if a content uploaded on YouTube infringes the copyright of a person, then such person can issue copyright takedown notice on the infringing video/ link. Accordingly, a counter-notification (which denotes a counterclaim) can be issued by the publisher of a video/clip (on YouTube) in response to a copyright takedown notice, asserting its purported right to publish such video/ clip.
The Hon'ble Court observed that as per YouTube policy, 14-15 days' time is given to the issuer of the Copyright Takedown Notice to provide evidence that they have taken out legal action against the publisher of a video/clip to prevent the reinstatement of the videos in question and if YouTube does not receive any response, then the publisher's videos will be restored and associated penalties on the YouTube accounts will be resolved.
The Hon'ble Court observed that the Defendant No. 1 has filed a suit in the month of July 2020 only with respect to three films i.e., Ustado Ke Ustad, Soutela and Namak but till date, the Defendant No. 1 has not moved the suit for hearing and without obtaining any order in the suit, the Defendant no.1 had succeeded in getting a stay on the reinstatement of the videos of Plaintiff by Defendant no.4.
Mr. Rohaan Cama, counsel appearing for the Plaintiff apprised the Hon'ble Court, that the Defendant No. 1 is still issuing strikes on the YouTube channel of the Plaintiff, and due to the strikes, YouTube has stopped the 'upload' feature of the Plaintiff's YouTube channel, hence, the Plaintiff is unable to upload any new videos and is incurring losses. Mr. Rohaan Cama suggested since both the parties have asserted their rights in the suit films, the Hon'ble Court may direct YouTube to reinstate the films/links on Plaintiffs YouTube channel and the Plaintiff to render account details in respect of the revenue from the three films.
Accordingly, the Hon'ble Court passed the following order: (a) Defendant No. 4 to reinstate the link on Plaintiff's YouTube channel, (b) Defendant No. 4 not to disable Plaintiff's YouTube channel "NH Studioz" (c) Defendant No. 4 shall share the account statement of the Plaintiff's YouTube channel(w.r.t the 3 films) with Defendant No. 1 and Plaintiff (d)With respect to the films, the amount payable to the Plaintiff by YouTube will be deposited with the Prothonotary and Senior Master, Bombay High Court, initially for 1 year. (e) Defendant No. 4 shall consider the strike given by Defendant No. 1 as withdrawn (f) Defendant No. 1 shall not issue any further strikes to Plaintiff with respect to the 5 films.
Narendra Hirawat & Co., the plaintiff in the matter, was successfully represented by a team from ANM Global Inc. comprising of Ms. Parul Sharma, Associate Partner, Mr. Navankur Pathak, Associate and Ms. Pranita Saboo, Associate.
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