Yahoo sued by Indian music company for copyright infringment

Yahoo sued by Indian music company, in a case that highlights the differences between the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and Indian copyright law

The Delhi High Court in India passed an interim injunction on Friday that prohibits Yahoo Video from streaming copyright content from Indian music company, Super Cassettes Industries, according to the lawyer representing the Indian company in this case. The court, after finding a prima-facie case, also issued a notice to Yahoo and its Indian subsidiary.

The music company, which uses the brand T-Series, is seeking a permanent injunction and damages for the alleged dissemination and display of its copyright content on Yahoo Video.

Yahoo will not comment on the case as the matter is before a court, a company spokeswoman said.

Super Cassettes Industries last year sued YouTube, owned by Google, for similar reasons. It obtained an interim restraining order on YouTube in that case too, though the case has not been finally disposed.

A "cease and desist" notice regarding the streaming of the copyright content was served on Yahoo and its Indian subsidiary in late February, Super Cassettes Industries' lawyer Rahul Ajatshatru said Monday. Yahoo did not remove the content identified in the notice, and instead asked the Indian company to follow procedures laid down by Yahoo for reporting misuse of copyright content, Ajatshatru said. Yahoo ignored a second notice sent by the Indian company in March.

Super Cassettes Industries has filed the case against Yahoo under Indian copyright laws.

The disputes pitting Yahoo and Google against Super Cassettes Industries points out to the differences between Indian laws and the copyright infringement and takedown provisions of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

While Internet companies like Yahoo offer to remove copyright content that has been put up on their web sites without permission, after sufficient proof is provided of the ownership of the copyright and its misuse, Indian content providers demand that Internet companies take responsibility for identifying misused copyright material and taking it down from their sites.

Super Cassettes publishes large numbers of videos and music cassettes, and it is not possible for the company to spend time and resources to monitor copyright infringements on sharing sites like those of Google and Yahoo, Ajatshatru said.

With its interim order, the Delhi High Court also appears to have put on Yahoo the onus for identifying and removing misused copyright material from Super Cassettes Industries on Yahoo Video.

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John Ribeiro

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