Art & Entertainment

No Copyright Protection For Idea, Says Delhi HC In Humans Of Bombay's Suit Against People Of India

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that there is no copyright protection for an idea itself, however, if the "expression" of the idea is copied, it would indeed constitute copyright infringement.

Delhi High Court
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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that there is no copyright protection for an idea itself, however, if the "expression" of the idea is copied, it would indeed constitute copyright infringement.

A single-judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh was hearing the copyright infringement dispute between two storytelling platforms -- Humans of Bombay (HOB) and People of India (POI).

The lawsuit was initiated by HOB, which alleged that POI had been infringing on its copyrighted content. It contended that the latter had not only used identical content but had also replicated its business model, including the stories they published.

POI argued that the plaintiff was not a unique platform and pointed out that there were other similar platforms with similar business models. They also claimed that HOB's concept had similarities with Humans of New York, which began in 2010.

Justice Singh recorded the plaintiff's stance that they had no objection to POI operating a similar platform, as long as they refrained from copying its images.

The court stated that there should be no monopoly in the operation of a storytelling platform and urged such platforms to develop their unique creative expressions to convey and disseminate their tales.

The verdict clarified that the act of copying identical images, literary content, and the specific approach to presenting stories would be exclusive to each platform. Moreover, the court said that if photographs are commissioned or videos are produced by the two platforms, the copyright would be vested in the respective platform.

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