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Producers of Web series ‘Criminal Justice’ granted relief in the Copyright Infringement suit by Bombay

Socio Legal Corp

Written by Vidisha Mathur

The suit Applause Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. v Krishna Anand, was instituted before the Bombay High Court when the plaintiff production company observed a casting call made by the respondent for the plaintiff’s web series ‘Criminal Justice’ on his individual Instagram account. He allegedly misrepresented himself as the casting director for the show on his social media.

When the producers came across his post calling for auditions, they issued a legal notice to Anand persuading him to delete all his posts regarding the show and cease and desist from using the material of the production company.

A copyright suit was instituted against Anand, when he failed to comply, to prohibit him from committing further infringement, violating the publicity rights of the show, misrepresentation, and passing off.

It was pleaded that the respondent had no permission from the production company to use its original work and its promotional and creative material as well as stills from the show, and definitely had no authorization for casting any roles. Hence, his use of their work for unlawful promotions and his illegitimate business of casting the series amounted to copyright infringement.

The plaintiff contended that the respondent, by misrepresenting himself as a casting director, had called for auditions by men, women, and children, which could enable him to indulge in other illegal activities with the material he obtains from them. The plea emphasized that the actions of the respondent were with dishonest intentions and he was taking advantage of the naivety and innocence of the struggling artists trying to succeed in a cut-throat industry.

On Thursday, the Bombay High Court provided ad interim relief to the producers of the Hotstar web series. Justice R.I. Chagla directed the respondent to abstain from using or publishing, either directly or indirectly, any posts or stills associated with the web series or its actors, characters, etc.


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