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YouTube & Music Label T-Series Reach Out Of Court Settlement

It’s been rumored for a while, but now we’ve got a confirmation that Google owned video sharing site YouTube, and music label T-Series have reached an out of court settlement, thus bringing to conclusion a case which was first filed in 2007. According to the Delhi High Court’s website, the case was “disposed off” on 31st January 2011, and on being contacted, Neeraj Kalyan, Head (International Business, Publishing & Digital Content) at T-Series confirmed to MediaNama that a settlement has been reached, though he declined to comment further for the time being, saying that some things are still being operationalized. We’re yet to receive a response from Google India. A settlement might mean that official T-Series content might be made available on YouTube, but we haven’t been able to confirm that.

Which Way The Wind Is Blowing

The case was first filed in 2007, when T-Series had obtained an interim order against YouTube from the Delhi High Court, restraining YouTube from infringing its copyright: arguments that followed in this case and others were focused on how some of the content being uploaded by users on sites like YouTube was benefiting the host site, but was infringing the publishers or music labels copyright. Could the platform (an intermediary) be held accountable for content being published by users?

In 2008, it appeared that the new IT Act offered some relief to intermediaries, but subsequent arguments (from T-Series) suggested that violation of copyright was governed by the Copyright Act. But the wind is blowing in a different direction: amendments being made to the Copyright Act appear to offer a safe harbor to intermediaries, and over and above that, make it necessary for the complainants to follow up any notification with a court order.

Other Cases

A search of the Delhi High Court website reveals the status of other cases filed by T-Series (Super Cassettes Industries). Cases against:
Ibibo Web Private Limited was been disposed off on 18th of October 2010 (detailed filings, our coverage)
MySpace Inc: one case was disposed off on 6th March 2009 (detailed filings), while in another case against the same company, the Judgement has been reserved (detailed filings, our coverage)
Yahoo: the case is still pending, and the next hearing is 27th April 2011 (details, past coverage)

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Last year, T-Series had also filed a criminal complaint against search engine Guruji.

Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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