The Delhi High Court has restrained WhatsApp and Telegram from illegally circulating e-papers of Times of India and Navbharat Times.
The Court was hearing a plea filed by Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd. The plaintiff have stated that the e-papers of Navbharat Times and Times of India circulated on different WhatsApp and Telegram without any right, and it amounted to copyright infringement. The news articles / contents published on plaintiff’s website as well as in its newspapers constitute “the original literary work” within the meaning of copyright thereby being entitled copyright protection under Section 14 of the Copyright Act.
The Single-judge Bench of Justice Jayant Nath noted that, “The plaintiff being exclusive owner of the copyright in the said literary work therefore possesses all rights to it in any material forms. Defendants are illegally circulating copies of e-newspaper owned by the plaintiff which violate the rights of the plaintiff.”
The Court was also informed that E-papers, on plaintiff’s website are based on a subscription model whereby a consumer can subscribe to the same upon paying a subscription fee and user can readily access times group newspapers.
The notice was issued to the two platforms and against administrators of certain groups on the platforms. The Court has directed the respondents to comply with its order and scheduled the case for further hearing on 18th August.