June 22, 2024 In Uncategorized


A single Judge Bench of Delhi High Court comprising of Justice Neena Bansal Krishna passed a Judgement dated 13.06.2024 in Pocket FM Pvt. Ltd. v. Novi Digital Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. & Anr. CS(COMM) 524/2024 wherein the High Court of Delhi held that Copyright Infringement cannot be proved just based on copying of an idea of someone provided the readers, spectators are of the view that the work is entirely copied.


An Application was filed by the Plaintiff seeking ad interim temporary injunction for restraining the Defendant No. 1 and all its members to publish, use, sell, or promote the web series called ‘Yakshini’ on their online streaming platform.  The Plaintiff operates an online platform by the name of ‘Pocket FM’ through which it offers audio works such as audio series and audiobooks, to its users. The Plaintiff bought exclusive rights to work, adapt and publish the work by the name of ‘Yakshini’ in the form of ‘audio series’.

The Plaintiff officially launched the series on 30.05.2021 and currently has 1001 audio episodes till now and is one of the most popular shows launched by the Plaintiff who is the exclusive owner having right, title, interest including the licensing rights to third party platform.

The Defendant No. 1 owns an online streaming platform by the name of ‘Hotstar.com’ and has a mobile application ‘Disney+Hotstar’. It was contended by the Plaintiff that on first week of June 2024, the Plaintiff came across the trailer of a web series called ‘Yakshini’ on Defendant No. 2’s website and Defendant No. 1’s official Youtube channel ‘Disney+Hotstar’.

The Plaintiff alleged that Defendants have copied the exact name, storyline, characters and plot of their audio series and thus have infringed their copyright. The Defendants planned to release their television series on 14.06.2024 and thus Plaintiff filed the application for temporary injunction to stop the release of the series by Defendants.

The Plaintiff stated that they were in discussion with Defendant No.1 over a possible business engagement pertaining to various works of the Plaintiff including ‘Yakshini’. The Plaintiff also alleged that the parent company i.e. Star India Pvt. Ltd. refused to enter into a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) with the Plaintiff related to various works.

However, the Defendants claimed that the series ‘Yakshini’ was based on older literary works by several authors and one of the source was Wikipedia. Moreover, the video series is already announced to be released and any injunction at this stage, would result in irreparable loss and injury to the Defendant No. 1.


I) Whether the Defendants infringed the copyrights of the Plaintiff?

II) Whether the Court can pass a pre-release ad interim injunction?

Decision by the High Court

The High Court of Delhi held that the argument by the Plaintiff that they were apprised about the release of the series just before its releasing date is untenable, as the Plaintiff must have known what is happening in their industry. The Hon’ble Court held that it was blatantly evident that the Plaintiff seeks pre-release ad interim injunction. The Hon’ble Court relied on the decision of Dashrath D. Rathore, I.A. 6351/2020 in CS(COMM) 291/2020, wherein it was observed that such last minute “pre-release injunctions” are not merited.

The Bench also held that in the present case, there is currently no evidence to support the Plaintiff’s request for the issuance of an ad-interim injunction, given that the case was filed just one day before the planned release of the video series and lacks specific facts to support a prima facie case of Plaintiff’s rights infringement.

The Hon’ble Court relied on the case of R.G. Anand vs. Delux Films & Ors., (1978) 4SCC 118, wherein the Supreme Court laid down the Tests for copyright violation.

First Test- There can be no copyright in an idea, subject matter, themes, plots or historical or legendry facts and violation of the copyright in such cases is confined to the form, manner, arrangement and expression of the idea by the author of the copyrighted work.

Second Test- Where the source is common, the similarities are bound to happen. The Court should determine whether or not these similarities are fundamental to the substantial aspects of mode of expression.

Thirdly- If the readers, spectators or the viewers after reading or seeing the same, are clearly of the opinion and get an unmistakable impression that subsequent work appears to be a copy of the original.

The Hon’ble Court was of the view that adaption of the character of ‘Yakshini’ in the web-series cannot be said to have almost similar or identical features to the work of the Plaintiff. Moreover, the similarity of name cannot be the sole criteria, especially because it is a mythological character on which admittedly various works, movies and books are already available.

The Delhi High Court also held that if there were some copyright infringement after the release of the series, then there would have been no irreparable loss caused to the Plaintiff and there is no such infringement which cannot be compensated in terms of money.


The Hon’ble High Court of Delhi held that since the video series was scheduled to be released on 14.06.2024 i.e. after about a few hours of passing of this judgement, it cannot be said that the balance of convenience lies in favour of the Plaintiff especially when the advertising about the series commenced way back from 10.05.2024.

Therefore, the Hon’ble Bench dismissed the application filed by the Plaintiff to provide the ad interim temporary injunction and held that there was no copyright infringement by the Defendants.





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