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Google CEO Sundar Pichai Booked For Copyright Infringement After Court Orders Mumbai Police To File FIR

Bollywood filmmaker Suneel Darshan has filed an FIR against Google CEO Sundar Pichai and five others from the tech giant over the alleged copyright infringement of his movie ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha’ on YouTube.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Booked For Copyright Infringement After Court Orders Mumbai Police To File FIR
FIR filed against Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

An MIDC Police Station in Thane registered an FIR against six people including Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, after Mumbai’s Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Andheri case passed an order asking the police to file an FIR, in connection to a complaint filed by film producer Suneel Darshan.

“After the hearing the court ordered the Police to lodge complaint against YouTube, Google and above-mentioned people under Sec 51, 63, 69 of the Copyright Act. I am submitting the CA certificate of cost involved in making the said film and losses I have to face. Therefore, I am filing a complaint against Google, YouTube and the rest of the people who are responsible for this,” a part of the FIR, a copy of which is available with Outlook India, stated.

In his complaint in the court, Darshan claimed that clips from his movie ‘Ek Haseena Thi, Ek Deewana Tha’, are still being shown on YouTube, despite a 2019 court order, which had directed  Google to remove all of Darshan’s movies from its video-streaming platform.

“Mr.Darshan was left with no alternative but to approach the Police initially and later on the Court for the registering of an FIR against YouTube/Google and their officials. The Court was pleased to allow Mr. Darshan's request and has directed the Police to register an FIR against YouTube/Google and their officials,” Aditya Chitale, said in a statement on behalf of his client, Darshan.

In the FIR, Darshan says that Google uploaded clips of songs from the film ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha’ on YouTube, without seeking permission from producer Dharmesh, and failed to remove the songs or take any action after Dharmesh complained to them.

“Google did not verify this when the clippings of my songs and video of Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha were uploaded without verifying the rights. When I raised the issue Google did not even respond to my complaint. Due to this I have suffered losses in crores while Google earned crores through it. So, I have filed a complaint against the above-mentioned people on August 3, 2021,” a part of the FIR, a copy of which is available with Outlook India, stated.

The FIR further stated that since the Police also did not take any action, he was left with “no option” but to file a case in the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Andheri. The court before disposing off the matter ordered police to register an FIR and submit their final report.

“Mr. Darshan had complained to YouTube/Google and its officials several times but they ignored his complaints and continued to earn huge revenue for itself at Mr. Darshan's cost by illegally exploiting his intellectual property rights,” says Chitale.

In its order the court also observed that Google/Youtube recorded illegal use by uploading “the said films” and generated “hundreds of millions of dollars of advertising revenue” from the content of the films whose rights only belonged to Darshan.

“The intellectual property rights of the film ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha' owned by Mr. Suneel Darshan is a precious and valuable commodity and the decision as to how the same should be exploited commercially vests solely and exclusively with him. No one has the right or authority or permission or license, etc. of any nature whatsoever to upload the content belonging to Mr. Darshan, except Mr. Darshan himself,” Darshan’s lawyer Chitale said.

“By their action of uploading the audio-visuals and the audio of his film ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha', YouTube and it's officials have not only considerably eroded the marketability and the value of the intellectual property rights of the audio-visuals and audio of ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha' but YouTube has unjustly enriched itself by earning huge revenue through advertisements and other sources through the exhibition of the audio-visuals and audio of ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha’," he added.

Outlook India is reaching out to Google/Youtube for their comments on the same. The article will be updated after their response.

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