Applicability and brief study of Hot News Doctrine
Meaning of Hot- News Doctrine:
The concept of Hot News Doctrine is the creation of modern business world and the importance of particular news at a particular point of Time. The important News and Live events televised around the world can be protected through this doctrine.
The “Hot News” doctrine refers to a very specific aspect of copyright. Copyright, a legal doctrine with a long tradition, involves legal protections for works that have been published, for which there is clear authorship, and the economic value of which does not recede over short periods of time.
Applicability of Hot News Doctrine in INDIA:
M/s. Marksman Marketing Private Limited v. Bharti Tele-Ventures Limited, 2006, popularly known as “Marksman Case”. The Hot News Doctrine had not earlier been applied by the Indian judiciary. Since the judgment of the Madras High Court in 2006, the Doctrine of Hot News has become more prominent in India’s copyright landscape and is likely to develop further as business in “Hot News” expands.
Piyush Agarwal (Cricbuzz) and Ors. Vs. Star India Private Limited
Brief study about the recent Case on "Hot News Doctrine".
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE S. RAVINDRA BHAT
HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE NAJMI WAZIRI
Facts of the Case:
The facts of the present case are as follow:
1. Star India Pvt. Ltd. (Star) filed three suits against Piyush Agarwal (Cricbuzz), Idea Cellular (“Idea”) and OnMobile Global Ltd. (“ONMOBILE”). The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) was grouped as the common defendant in all the three cases.
2. BCCI, however, supported Star, claiming paramount rights over all information emanating from cricketing events as the organizer and promoter of that sport in India.
3. Star and BCCI contended in the suit that the latter (BCCI) by agreement dated 10.08.2012 had assigned a “bouquet of rights‟ exclusively to Star. These included “Mobile Rights‟ and “Mobile Activation Rights‟, and Star alleged that the defendants had violated those rights and consequently filed the suits currently in question for permanent injunction and damages.
4. The defendants resisted Star’s claims and asserted that such rights claimed by it did not exist, and as there was no question of enforcement of a non-existent right, no relief could be granted. Before the learned Single Judge, HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE M.L. MEHTA the defendants (Piyush Agarwal and Ors.) contentions were rejected and the ad-interim injunction sought was granted. (Decision dated 13-03-2013)
Brief summary of the order of Division Bench of Delhi High Court:
Ø Direct Competitors:
Court held that when the both parties are direct competitors then only doctrine of “Hot News” can be apply. It cannot be merely apply where the plaintiff's primary service or product is not hot news distribution, but match organisation or broadcasting of those events. In the present case respondent is failed to show to the court, how it had proprietary rights over the facts and information. As neither Star, nor BCCI engaged themselves primarily in match news distribution through SMS. So in the instant case “International News Service vs. Associated Press” rule doesn't apply.
In view of the above discussion, it was held by the court “that the plaintiffs claim for ad interim injunction on all counts, i.e. ownership of facts based on the “hot news” principle and the claims for unfair competition and unjust enrichment cannot be granted. Prima facie, it is also held that claims so made are statutorily precluded. Consequently, the impugned judgment and order of the learned Single Judge has to be set aside and court allows the all three appeals”.
(for more information regarding this case please click here.)