Balu Nair

Balu Nair

Balu completed his B.A. LL.B. (Hons.) from WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata and LL.M. from Melbourne Law School as an Alex Chernov Scholar. He is currently a Lecturer at Jindal Global Law School and is also Assistant Editor at Indian Law Review. He can be reached at [email protected]

Copyright

Government Copyright over Bare Acts: India’s Georgia et al Moment on the Horizon?


picture of a lock with three signs - off, enable and access

Late last month, the Supreme Court issued notice to the Union of India in an appeal against the Delhi High Court’s decision in Arpit Bhargava v. Union of India and Anr. As I had covered earlier on the blog, the Appellant, Arpit Bhargava, had filed a PIL before the Delhi High Court seeking a direction from the High Court to mandate the Central Government to make hard copies of legislations available at a reasonable price. He had argued that publication…


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Copyright COVID-19

Fact Checking the Fact Check: Is Circulation of Free E-Newspapers Permitted under Copyright Law?


When the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions came into effect, the physical distribution and door step delivery of newspapers became affected. Faced with these constraints, most newspapers started offering free trials on their websites for e-papers and even free PDFs of the day’s paper. This also led to a surge in e-papers getting forwarded on social media by individuals, rather than newspapers themselves. Newspaper Dainik Bhaskar then came out with a piece claiming that downloading and circulating PDFs of e-papers was illegal….


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Copyright

Screening of Movies in Educational Settings: Copyright Infringement or Fair Use?


Every year, April 26th is celebrated as World IP Day. WIPO’s website states that the aim of the celebration is to “learn about the role that IP rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity”. A less remembered and celebrated fact though is how fair use provisions play an equal, if not larger role, in fostering creativity and innovation. Such a skewed view often results in people being less aware/prevented from availing the benefits of fair use provisions. I was recently…


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Copyright

Publication of Pleadings without Lawyers’ Consent : Copyright Infringement or Fair Use?


Earlier this month, the Supreme Court held that legal pleadings/court records cannot be accessed through the Right to Information Act if the procedure for obtaining them is provided for under the procedural rules of the court (for a wonderful summary of the decision, see Prashant’s piece in The Hindu here). Pleadings are documents of various sorts submitted by parties to a case. In India, it is extremely difficult to access these documents. As detailed in this Vidhi report, one may…


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Others

Supreme Court Strikes Down Tribunal Rules: Trade Marks Act to Govern IPAB Appointments Again till New Rules are Framed


[This post has been co-authored with Pankhuri Agarwal] Earlier this month, the Supreme Court in Rojer Mathew v. South Indian Bank Ltd. & Ors., struck down the Tribunal, Appellate Tribunal and other Authorities (Qualifications, Experience and other Conditions of Service of Members) Rules, 2017 (‘Rules’) framed under Section 184 of the Finance Act, 2017 (‘Act’) on the grounds that they impinge on judicial independence and are contrary to the guidelines laid down in cases like RK Jain and Madras Bar…


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Others

Delhi HC Gives Expansive Interpretation to Section 79 of IT Act: Issues Global Blocking Order Against Intermediaries


On October 23, a single judge of the Delhi High Court – Justice Prathiba M Singh – issued an interim injunction directing Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other unnamed intermediaries to take down on a global basis, defamatory content uploaded on their platforms against Baba Ramdev (‘Judgment’). The Judgment is significant as it went beyond the conventional mode of ‘geo-blocking’, whereby the take-down of URLs is limited to specific geographic locations. Background The present Judgment is only a link in…


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Comparative Advertising

Constitutionalisation of Private Law Disputes: Horlicks Ltd and Anr. v. Heinz India Pvt. Ltd.


Judgments of Indian courts are often criticised for their use of convoluted language, verbosity, and tendency to digress into avoidable terrains (for instances of courts employing barely decipherable language, see this). A recent order of the Delhi High Court (‘Order’), in the matter of Horlicks Limited and Anr. v. Heinz India Private Limited falls into the third category- crossing into the territory of fundamental rights in a private law dispute. The Order was made in an application filed by Horlicks…


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Trademark

Delhi HC Awards Punitive Damages for Infringement of Christian Louboutin’s Red Sole Trademark


Justice Yogesh Khanna of the Delhi High Court, in his judgment dated July 31, 2018 (“Louboutin-3”), has granted permanent injunction and punitive damages against a Delhi based retailer for infringing the famed ‘Red Sole’ trademark of Christian Loubutin. The order appears to have taken a diametrically opposite view to the one taken by another judge of the same Court, Justice Valmiki Mehta, who barely a month ago, had held that Christian Louboutin’s ‘Red Sole’ Trademark was not eligible for trademark…


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Copyright

Does the Copyright Act Stand in the Way of Access to Legislations? : PIL Claims Bare Acts by Private Publishers Infringe Govt’s Copyright


It is no secret that the governments in India, both Union and State, have a dismal record in maintaining an authentic and easy to access database of legislations and judicial/executive decisions. Although things might have marginally improved over the last few years, most of the government websites continue to have a poor track record of collating legislations and judicial/administrative orders coherently. Legislations along with their amendments and connected sub-ordinate legislations are more often than not scattered across different websites and…


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Copyright

A Sneak Peek into the Murky World of Torrents


An estranged member of one of India’s most popular torrent websites, which goes by the name ‘Tamilrockers’, has given an interview that sheds much light into the modus operandi of the website in particular and the world of torrents in general. While the interview offers numerous fascinating insights into the functioning of torrent websites, if there was one key takeaway from the interview, it is that everyone is in on it, including you and me. As Mr. Bhaskar Kumar, who…


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