Veteran film producer-director Suneel Darshan said he felt ‘vindicated’ after winning a copyright infringement case against Google and YouTube. He termed it as a ‘long battle’ after the case went on for eight years. A district court of Gurgoan ordered the tech giant to stop ‘infringing’ on the filmmaker’s copyrighted content, while awarding a compensation of Rs 50,000 to him.
Suneel Darshan is known for producing and/or directing numerous films, most of them featuring Akshay Kumar, like Priyanka Chopra-Lara Dutta’s breakthrough film Andaaz, Jaanwar, Dosti: Friends Forever and more. He as the proprietor of film production company Shree Krishna International, had in 2011, filed a permanent injunction suit against Google India and its US-based parent YouTube at the Gurgaon court. He had accused, in his petition, the company of infringing on his copyrighted content in termes of sound recording, cinematograph films and audio-visual songs, without any license or authorisation.
He claimed that he or his company had not given any authority to Google or YouTube to store, telecastand/or communicate his content to the public. Darshan had claimed he suffered ‘huge financial loss’ with the company’s ‘unauthorized exploitation’ of his content by taking up the ad revenue generated from it. After the court's order, Darshan was quoted as saying, “It was a long battle, but the order made me felt vindicated. I would calculate and file for total damages soon.”
Google, through its lawyers, however, claimed that they had only provided a platform without any ‘charge’. They also stated that they had no knowledge of it being copyright infringement. Google also stated that they were only ‘service providers’ under the IT Act, 2000. The company’s team argued that they could not be held liable for copyright infringement because they did not have any control over what the users were uploading.
Suneel Darshan’s brother Dharmesh Darshan is also a filmmaker. The Darshan brothers delivered many hits in the ‘90s and 2000s. Dharmesh Darshan is known for Raja Hindustan and Dhadkan. Suneel Darshan’s last film was Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha. The movie, that had released in 2017, was the launchpad for his son Shiv Darshan.
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