New Delhi, May 27 (IANS): The Delhi High Court has fined a website Rs 25 lakh for infringing on the trademark of the iconic Hindi film ‘Sholay’, after preventing it from using the logo, designs and selling the DVD of the movie on the internet.
A bench of Judge Prathiba M. Singh dealt with a lawsuit filed by Sholay Media Entertainment against a domain name and a magazine using the name and scenes from the movie “Sholay” and the sale of related things associated with the movie.
“Defendants’ adoption of the ‘SHOLAY’ trademark was clearly in bad faith and dishonest, due to the use of the logo, infringing designs, sale of the ‘Sholay’ movie DVD on Defendants’ website , etc. for reasons contained above, this Court is satisfied that this is a proper case for the awarding of costs to plaintiffs.Therefore, the present lawsuit is decreed for a sum of Rs 25,00,000 to as costs and damages, in terms of remedying the complaint,” read the recent order.
Among the arguments, the defendants argued that “Sholay.com” is a website used by educated people, which would therefore lead to less likelihood of confusion.
In response to this, the court said: “As regards the use of the Internet, the said platform is now accessible to billions of users around the world, who can range from highly educated people to even illiterate people. Nowadays, the Internet as a medium has become a platform for dissemination, communication and empowerment for the common man. Thus, in the opinion of this court, the assertion that the Internet is not used only by educated people is unacceptable. It would be easy for anyone, not just educated individuals, to link Plaintiffs’ film to Defendants’ website.”
In addition, the ordinance stipulated that the content of a film was no longer limited to theatrical screening, but also to online and other electronic platforms.
“Thus, the internet has itself created an additional market for ‘Sholay’, which is a nearly 50-year-old film. Defendants’ adoption is made with full knowledge of plaintiffs’ film, especially since the Defendants’ companies are run by Indians, who are more than likely to be familiar with the film “Sholay”.