Streamline your tax compliance with our expert-assisted GSTR 9 & 9C services @ ₹14,999/-

Tax efficiency, interest avoidance, and financial control with advance payment @ 4999/-
Copyright Infringement

Infringement Cases Of Copyright In India

Understand copyright infringement cases in India, examining legal proceedings, penalties, and impactful judgments that define intellectual property protection.

Table of Contents


The fabrication of a form of intellectual property work without the authorization of the copyright holders is known as a copyright infringement cases. Copyright violation occurs when a 3rd party violates the copyright owner’s rights, like individual ownership of work for a specific period. Music and films are well-known entertainment products subject to severe copyright infringement. Violation lawsuits might result in future liabilities or funds set aside in the event of a lawsuit.

Individuals and businesses who create new compositions and apply for copyright registration, do so to guarantee that their contributions are rewarded. Other organizations may be approved to use those works through license agreements or buy them from the copyright owner; nonetheless, several factors may result in copyright violation on the part of other parties.

A high price for the permitted work or an absence of availability to a supplier of the authorised work is among the reasons.

Copyright Registration

Instances Where Copyright Infringement Occurs

copyright infringement occurs in various instances when someone uses, reproduces, or distributes copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright owner. Here are common instances:

Unauthorised Copying

Reproducing, photocopying, or duplicating copyrighted content without permission.


Illegally distributing or selling copyrighted material, such as movies, music, or software.


Presenting someone else’s work as one’s own, without proper attribution or permission.

Online Sharing

Sharing copyrighted material on online platforms without authorisation, including social media, websites, or file-sharing networks.

Adaptation or Derivative Works

Creating adaptations, remixes, or derivative works without permission from the original copyright owner.

Performing Rights Violation

Performing copyrighted works publicly without obtaining the necessary licenses or permissions.

Commercial Use without Permission

Using copyrighted material for commercial purposes without obtaining proper licensing or permission.

Digital Reproduction

Unauthorised reproduction or distribution of digital content, including e-books, software, or digital artwork.

Unauthorised Translation

Translating copyrighted works without the copyright owner’s permission.


Broadcasting or streaming copyrighted content without proper authorisation.

Artwork Reproduction

Reproducing visual art, photographs, or illustrations without the artist’s permission.

Educational Use without Fair Use

Using copyrighted material in educational settings without qualifying for fair use or obtaining the necessary licenses.

Failure to Attribute

Not providing proper attribution or credit to the original creator when using their copyrighted work.

Using Copyrighted Software Illegally

Using software without adhering to licensing agreements, such as using unauthorised copies or distributing software without permission.

Public Display

Displaying copyrighted material in public without proper authorisation.

Architectural Works

Copying or reproducing architectural designs without permission.

Fashion Design Infringement

Copying or replicating unique and original fashion designs without permission.

Copyright Infringement Examples

YRF vs Sri Sai Ganesh Productions

YRF initiated a copyright infringement lawsuit against Sri Sai Ganesh Productions, alleging that their movie ‘Jabardasht’ copied essential elements from YRF’s ‘Band Baaja Baaraat.’ The court applied a test of originality, focusing on foundational aspects, substance, and kernel to determine if an average viewer would perceive one work as a copy of the other. The court found that Sri Sai Ganesh Productions had blatantly replicated YRF’s film, leading to a verdict of copyright infringement.

Hawkins Cooker Ltd. vs Magicook Appliances

Hawkins Cooker Ltd. filed a lawsuit against Magicook Appliances for unlawfully utilising their copyrighted label on the popular pressure cooker line. The court prohibited Magicook Appliances from using Hawkins Cooker Ltd’s cookbooks and mandated compensation for damages related to the alleged unauthorised use of books, products, and articles in the production of the infringing goods.

Super Cassettes Industries Limited vs YouTube and Google

Super Cassettes Industries Limited (SCIL) asserted that YouTube’s business model profits significantly from the unauthorised use of copyrighted works without approval or royalty payment. The court directed YouTube and Google to cease the distribution, reproduction, display, or transmission of any audio-visual works exclusively owned by SCIL on their platform.

Ratna Sagar (P) Ltd. V. Trisea Publications & Ors., 1996 Ptc (16) 597 

In the legal matter of Ratna Sagar (P) Ltd. versus Trisea Publications & Ors. (1996 Ptc (16) 597), the examination centred on the safeguards for copyright protection as per Order 39, Rules 1 and 2 of the Civil Procedure Code, 1908. It emphasised the necessity of safeguarding the prior publication of the work. The court deemed the party’s right to the work, based on the author’s assignment, irrelevant at this point. Consequently, the court issued an injunction to prevent copyright infringement under Sections 14 and 19 of the Act.

Star India (P) Ltd. V. Piyush Agarwal & Ors, C.S. (O.S.) No. 2722/2012, Del Hc 

Star India Pvt. Ltd. (STAR) initiated legal actions against Piyush Agarwal (Cricbuzz), Idea Cellular (IDEA), and OnMobile Global Ltd. (ONMOBILE). Despite the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) being named as a common defendant, it is supporting STAR, asserting primary rights over all information from cricket events due to its role in organising and promoting cricket in India. STAR and BCCI argue that, through an agreement on 10.08.2012, BCCI exclusively assigned a set of rights, including sMobile Rights and sMobile Activation Rights, to STAR. STAR alleges a violation of these rights by the defendants and seeks an interim injunction.

Najma Heptulla V. Orient Longman Ltd., Air 1989 Del 63

This case pertains to obtaining a temporary injunction under Order 39 for the publication of books. The plaintiff asserts her status as the legal heir of Maulana Azad, the book’s author, and has initiated legal action seeking an account rendition and injunction. The primary relief is sought against Orient Longman Limited, a publishing company, and Professor Humayun Kabir, a close associate of Maulana Azad.

Eastern Book Company & Others V. D.B. Modak & Another, Air 2008 Sc 809 

Eastern Book Company, a partnership, and EBC Publishing Private Limited were involved in publishing legal books, including ‘Supreme Court Cases’ (SCC) since 1969. This compilation comprised non-reportable, reportable, and short judgments of the Supreme Court, enriched with user-friendly elements like formatting, numbering, cross-references, and additional contributions. It featured headnotes, footnotes, and long notes. In 2004, Spectrum Business Support Limited (Respondent-1) and Regent Datatech Private Limited (Respondent-2) released ‘Grand Jurix’ and ‘The Laws’ software, respectively, allegedly copying the entire SCC module onto CD-ROMs, leading to accusations of IP rights infringement by the appellants.

The Chancellor, Master and Scholars of the University Of Oxford & Ors. V. Rameshwari Photocopying Services and Anr., Cs (Os) 2439/2012 

In 2012, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press (UK), and Taylor & Francis Group (UK), along with Cambridge University Press India Pvt. Ltd. and Taylor & Francis Books India Pvt. Ltd., initiated a legal action for copyright infringement against Rameshwari Photocopy Service and the University of Delhi in the Delhi High Court. The lawsuit gained significant backing from students, professors, and activists who rallied in support of Rameshwari Services. Several petitions were submitted to join the defense, with entities like the Association of Students for Equitable Access to Knowledge (ASEAK) and the Society for Promoting Educational Access and Knowledge (SPEAK) seeking inclusion as defendants. Consequently, they were formally included as defendant number three and four in the case.

Sajeev Pillai v. VenuKunnapalli & Anr 

In this case, Sajeev Pillai, a film director and scriptwriter, researched the historical festival ‘Mamankam’ and wrote a script for a film. He signed an MoU with Kavya Film Company to produce the film. However, after two shooting schedules, he was replaced as the director. Pillai alleged that the script was altered, leading him to file a civil suit seeking various reliefs. He also filed an interim injunction application to prevent the film’s release without proper authorship credits. The District Judge denied the injunction, prompting Pillai to appeal to the Kerala High Court, which issued its order a day before the scheduled movie release.

UTV Software Communication Ltd., v.1337X.TO and Ors

In a unilateral decision, the Delhi High Court issued a groundbreaking dynamic injunction in India, allowing the injunction holder to utilise a single court order to block websites hosting infringing content, eliminating the need for separate suits for each instance of infringement. This ruling emerged from a case seeking an injunction against ‘rogue websites’ disseminating pirated versions of cinematograph films. The court found these websites culpable of hosting copyright-infringing material, denying them exemptions under the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, and the safe harbour principle for intermediaries under the Information Technology Act, 2000. Additionally, the court directed the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeITY) and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to consider formulating a technically feasible policy to issue warnings to viewers engaging in content infringement. Section 79 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 addresses intermediary liability and provides safe harbour exemptions.

Three Crucial Copyright Infringement Cases in India

Sarla A. Saraogi & Ors Vs. Krishna Kishore Singh 

The New Delhi High Court declined to impose an interlocutory order against the distribution and broadcast of cinematograph films copyright supposedly relating to SSR (Sushant Singh Rajput) because SSR’s parents failed to establish prima facie evidence, and the ratio of advantage was in favor of the respondents. ‘NYAY The Law,’ ‘Suicide or Death,’ and ‘Roughly in the middle,’ according to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, must be inducted and prohibited from being disclosed, printed, and conveyed to the world. The Complainant claimed violations of publicity and security rights and the right to due process, slander, and infringement of the Indian Constitution’s Article 21.

The Complainant struggled to create a legitimate argument for copyright infringement of SSR’s famous person or licensing because the Claimant was unaware of the subject matter of the movies, the plaintiffs were not taking SSR’s appearance, similarities, or title, and the movies had suitable provisos, the Court concluded after evaluating the facts and findings further showed. It further stated that famous rights may cease to exist after the demise of the star and that plaintiffs may use information from the official information without responsibility. Finally, the Court concluded that a libel claim is hypothetical with no access to the offensive content.

The Court further stated that no breach of the legal right to a fair trial might be considered a result of news or film coverage. It continued to say that when it comes to material that is part of the public domain, freedom of speech and expression takes precedence over Article 21. While rejecting the order, the Court requested the plaintiffs provide accounts to reimburse any losses.

Spartan Engineering Industries Pvt. Ltd. Anr. Vs. Dassault System Solidworks Corporation & Anr. 

The Delhi High Court addressed the problem of software copyright infringement in this judgment. Defendant No. 1 is a French firm that created the program ‘Solidworks.’ This program makes it easier to model and build goods in a 3D setting. Defendant no.2 is a sister corporation founded by Defendant no.1 to handle all of Defendant no.1’s business in India.

Defendants No. 1 and 2 (“Defendants”) claim that the program was created as a job for pay by their workers and that the Petitioners own the copyright. The Defendants argue that the software package and its accompanying training materials are copyright literary work by the Act of 1957 (Act). Because the United States and India are both signatories of the Convention in Berne, the World Trade Organization’s Agreement, and the Universal Copyright Convention, India’s program is protected in Section 40 of the Copyright Act on trade-related. (

Plaintiff argued that they acquired evidence in May 2018 about the Respondents’ commercial usage of copied and unlicensed part of the ‘Modelling’ software application without completing the requisite license cost. The Consumers further claimed that improper usage of the program had escalated since August 2020 and that all attempts to achieve a settlement were unsuccessful because the Defendants denied violation.

With this, the Defendants granted an order from the Court, claiming that using a counterfeit or unauthorised version of the Defendants’ computer program would constitute copyright violations under Section 51 of the Copyright Act. The Defendants also invoked Section 63B of the Act, making it illegal to intentionally use a stolen software program. Furthermore, Plaintiff contended that the Defendants’ breach of the synchronization license agreement resulted in commercial and intellectual property violations.

“Software duplication is a serious matter that requires to be addressed in the bud,” the judge said in granting the decision. Accordingly, the Petitioners were given a close substitute ex-parte injunctive relief prohibiting the Plaintiffs from using, replicating, or disseminating any illegally downloaded, non-licensed, or unapproved software packages governed by the Complainants, and also typesetting their computer networks and trying to erase any data related to aiding others in infringing the Complainants’ copyright.

Shalini Kalra & Ors. Vs. Muthoot Finance Limited

Muthoot Finance Limited, a non-banking economical organization, offered commercial and personal financing in this case in exchange for gold jewelry deposits. As a result, the Complainant had to keep confidential and proprietary data about its vast client form in the shape of a dataset as part of the company, which formed a “work of literature” under Section 2(o) of the Copyright Act, 1957, and also added up to Defendant’s proprietary information that should not be divulged to any 3rd person.

The Claimant’s former workers were Respondents Nos. 1 through 4. Each will have stated nonagreement and a delegation of loyalty when they started working for the company. The central claim in the party was that during the scope of employment, Plaintiff Nos. 1 and 4 had unpermitted and illegally copied, derived, replicated, and later transferred the sensitive data of the Complainant’s clients to Defendant Nos. 2 and 3 and also the staff of Plaintiff No. 5, a company that supplies similar programs to the Claimant.

As a result, Plaintiff’s consumer base began to shift to Respondent No.5. Defendants 1 and 3 ended up joining the employment of Defendant 5 after being fired by Plaintiff. Angry, the Claimant filed the complaint with the Joint Superintendent of Police, Crime Division, New Delhi, against Defendants 1 to 5. Nevertheless, there were comparable instances of secret information being disclosed at several other Plaintiff offices, resulting in Defendant losing approx 9 cr. Rupees.

As a result, Plaintiff filed a new FIR under the relevant parts of the IPC and the IT Act at PS Special Offenses and Cyber Crime. Respondent No.5 was also accused of recruiting Plaintiff’s staff and clients using information gained unlawfully by the Respondents, according to the counterclaim.

As a result, Plaintiff filed a motion in this Court to seek a court injunction prohibiting the Plaintiff. Anyone acting on their behalf/through them from using certain sensitive information about the Plaintiff, to use any authorship or other Proprietary rights belonged to the Claimant, explicitly or implicitly trying to lure any Defendant’s clients, likely to induce any Defendant’s staff to quit jobs, or provoking any of the Defendant’s staff to The Plaintiff further demanded damages of 2,00,01,000/- from Respondents 1 to 5 jointly liable, plus interest at 18% per annum until the payment date.

The Defendants were summoned by the Court and allowed to file a prepared statement (if any). Regarding the Plaintiff’s IA, the jury issued an interim injunctive relief prohibiting the Plaintiff from divulging or using any sensitive information, classified information, or other information relating to the Lawsuit Firm’s operations, as well as from using patented technology data of any kind, including authorship and other intellectual rights of the Complainant, or from engaging in any actions or doings that will intrude the Plea.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement refers to the unauthorised use, reproduction, distribution, or exploitation of copyrighted material without the permission of the copyright owner. This includes works such as literary, artistic, musical, or other creative expressions protected by copyright laws.

What are the remedies available for copyright infringement?

Remedies for copyright infringement include: Injunctions: Court orders to stop the infringing activities. Damages: Monetary compensation for the losses suffered by the copyright owner. Accounting of Profits: The infringer may be required to account for and pay any profits derived from the infringement. Seizure and Destruction: Courts may order the destruction or removal of infringing materials. Criminal Proceedings: In some cases, copyright infringement can lead to criminal charges.

What is the penalty for Copyright infringement?

The penalties for copyright infringement vary by jurisdiction but may include: Civil Penalties: Fines and damages awarded through civil lawsuits. Criminal Penalties: Criminal charges, leading to fines and imprisonment. Injunctions: Court orders to cease infringing activities. Statutory Damages: Pre-established damages defined by copyright laws. Seizure of Assets: Courts may order the confiscation of assets related to the infringement.

Subscribe to our newsletter blogs

Back to top button


Remove Adblocker Extension