Congress Bharat Jodo Yatra
Following a copyright infringement allegation, a court in Bengaluru ordered Twitter to temporarily prohibit the handles of the Indian National Congress (INC) and its popular movement, Bharat Jodo Yatra. The Congress party is undertaking the 3,570-km ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra’ that began at Kanniyakumari on September 7, 2022, and will end at Srinagar covering 12 States in 150 days. The organizing team for the Bharat Jodo Yatra is under the direction of Digvijaya Singh. Congress is viewed as using the yatra as a tactic to increase its chances of winning the 2024 elections. It was launched on September 7 from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu. Over the course of 12 states and two union territories, Rahul Gandhi will travel 3,500 kilometers. The “Bharat Jodo Yatra” is anticipated to take 150 days to complete. A logo, slogan, booklet, and website for the yatra were presented by the Congress. Mile Kadam, Jude Vatan is the rallying cry for the statewide march on foot (walk together, unite the country). The yatra is reputed to be the longest rally held in the nation in the previous century. The party’s biggest mass contact programme in the recent times will see 119 leaders, including former party president Rahul Gandhi.
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Copyright Infringement & the Song Played
MRT Music, a music company with headquarters in Bengaluru, filed the lawsuit for infringement on the grounds that Congress representatives utilized KGF-Chapter 2’s soundtrack improperly in one of the campaign’s films for the Bharat Jodo Yatra. According to the urban district commercial court, the Congress’ unauthorized use of the movie’s tunes would cause the plaintiff “irreparable injury” and “promote piracy” if it is not stopped. Irreparable injury is when the plaintiff has suffered a loss that is difficult to compensate or measure. Piracy is an unauthorized duplication, distribution, or use of someone else’s intellectual property, including computer software (including video games), constitutes copyright infringement and is illegal, and subject to both civil and criminal penalties.
The Yeshwanthpur Police Station received a complaint from MRT Music, and an FIR was filed against Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh, and Supriya Shrinate. According to reports, the song was played during the Bharat Jodo mass campaign for the Congress, which Rahul Gandhi is directing and orchestrating by encouraging party members and the general public to walk from Kanyakumari to Jammu and Kashmir on foot
Complain Filed & the Claims made
“The copyrighted version of the plaintiff’s work and the unlawfully synced version are displayed side by side on a CD that was specifically produced by the plaintiff. The preliminary evidence before the court at this time shows that, if the practice is supported, the plaintiff, who is in the business of purchasing cinematography pictures, songs, music albums, etc., will suffer irreparable harm, and that this also encourages piracy generally “cited by the Court. M. Naveen Kumar, the manager of MRT Music, the record company that owns the copyright to the songs from KGF-2, filed the complaint in accordance with the Indian Penal Code’s, Information Technology Act, and Copyright Act requirements.The complainant claims that senior party leader Jairam Ramesh used music from the KGF-2 film without authorization in two videos of the yatra that he shared on his official Twitter account. According to Indian Express, Naveen Kumar said that the party utilised the company’s music “fraudulently, brazenly, and slavishly with an objective of making unjust advantages.” Another report by India Today quoted MRT Music as saying that it spent a significant amount of money to obtain the Hindi song rights for KGF 2.
The court ruled that prima facie materials established that if the alleged illegal use of sound records was encouraged, the plaintiff would suffer an irreparable injury and the same would also lead to encouraging piracy at large. Additionally, the court ordered Twitter to block the accounts of INC and Bharat Jodo Yatra, as well as remove three links from its website.
Block Congress: Bengaluru court tells Twitter over copyright violation
Congress Reply to Copyright Infringement
Later, the Congress released a statement in Hindi on Twitter claiming that neither the party nor the party’s representative was present during the case’s court proceedings. All legal remedies are being sought, it said, adding that it has not yet received a copy of the order. “We’ve seen on social media that a court in Bengaluru issued an unfavorable ruling against the INC & BJY SM handles. We were not informed of any court proceedings, nor were we present. The order has not been copied. We are pursuing all available legal options. India Jodo Yatra in Zindabad ” the Congress tweeted in Hindi.
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