A Bengaluru court on Monday directed Twitter to temporarily block the accounts of the Congress and the Bharat Jodo Yatra for allegedly infringing on the statutory copyright owned by MRT Music by illegally using sound records of the film KGF Chapter-2.

Additional city civil judge Lathakumari M passed the order after hearing a suit filed by MRT Music against the Indian National Congress, Supriya Shrinate, Rahul Gandhi and Twitter Inc as respondents. The court, in its order, said that prima facia illegal use of sound records was established, and asked Twitter to remove and take down three tweets which were posted from the Congress party’s main handle @INCIndia.

“Plaintiff has specifically produced a CD showing the side-by-side file i.e., the original version of his copyrighted work with that of the illegally synchronised version. These prima facie materials available before this court at this stage establish that if the same is encouraged, plaintiff who is in the business of acquiring cinematography films, songs, music albums etc., will be put to irreparable injury and further same leads to encouraging piracy at large,” read the order.

The court further restrained the defendants “from unauthorisedly and illegally using the copyrighted work owned by the plaintiff and illegally synchronising, from distributing pirated copies of the same and also restrained from illegal uploading, storing, posting, communicating to the public, digitally transmitting the work held by the plaintiff till next date.”

The court then posted the matter for hearing on November 21.

The court also appointed the district system administrator of the computer section, Commercial Court, SN Venkateshmurthy, as the local commissioner to visit the defendant’s website to verify the implementation of the order.

“This court is convinced that the object of granting an injunction would be defeated by delay if the commissioner is not appointed to make a local inspection. Accordingly, SN Venkateshmurthy, District System Administrator of Computer Section, Commercial Court, Bengaluru is appointed as Local Commissioner to visit the defendants’ 1 to 3 websites, conduct an electronic audit and preserve the infringing materials available in the above social media and prepare an inventory of the same and store the same in this court’s system and separate CD,” the order stated.

As of Monday night, the above-mentioned Twitter accounts remain active.

The complaint was registered on Friday by MRT Music and an FIR was lodged against Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh and Supriya Shrinate at the Yeshwanthpur police station under the provisions of the Copyright Act, the Information Technology Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The complaint was lodged by M Naveen Kumar, an employee of MRT Music, alleging that Ramesh had on his official Twitter handle posted two videos of the yatra, in which popular songs from KGF-2 film were used without permission. “The said videos were made using the popular sound recordings owned and held by the complainant. The said sound recordings are that of the cinematographic film “KGF Chapter 2” (Hindi version) which is popular globally,” Kumar said in the complaint.

The Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra began from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and is expected to reach Jammu on January 30, 2023.

By Shadab

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