Today's Headlines

Today's Headlines - 29 September 2023

Copyright infringement suit to HoB

GS Paper - 3 (IPR Issues)

The Delhi High Court has issued summons to an Instagram account called People of India (POI), in a copyright infringement suit filed by the storytelling platform Humans of Bombay (HOB)POI tells stories of common people in a similar way to HOB, whose Instagram account has over 2.7 million followers.This case involves claims of “copyright infringement” and “passing off”. Here is what the concepts mean in law.

Why did Humans of Bombay approach the HC?

  • In its plea, HOB said that it owns and operates a storytelling platform in which stories of various individuals are uploaded in the form of interviewswrite-upsposts, etc.
  • Contending that it engages in “substantial research” and “approaches various subjects who would be interested in narrating their life stories”, HOB added that these stories are then converted into audio-video works and uploaded on its website and social media platforms.
  • The plea also said that POI, whose Instagram account has around millions followers, had replicated several images and videos from its platforms and used them.
  • Thus, Humans of Bombay approached the Delhi High Court, seeking a direction to the People of India to take down all of HOB’s works used either directly or indirectly.
  • Significantly, HOB, which launched in 2014, is purportedly inspired by photographer Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York, which was founded in 2010.

How is “substantial imitation” a copyright infringement?

  • Copyright” refers to the right given by the law to creators of literarydramaticmusical, and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings.
  • Essentially, it’s a bundle of rights that includes rights of reproductioncommunication to the public, adaptation, and translation of a work.
  • The Copyright Act, 1957 aims to safeguard creative works, which are considered to be the creator’s intellectual property.
  • While acting on HOB’s plea, which stated that POI had created a portal or service identical to theirs, the court found “substantial imitation” between the two.
  • However, what is ‘substantial’ varies from case to case. Often, it is a matter of quality rather than quantity. For example, if a lyricist copies the catchiest part or phrase from another’s song, this will be considered infringement, even if that phrase is short.

What is copyright infringement?

  • copyrighted work will be considered “infringed” only if a substantial part is made use of without authorisation.
  • In cases of infringement, the copyright owner can take legal action against any person who infringes on or violates their copyright and is entitled to remedies such as injunctionsdamages, and accounts.
  • An injunction is “an official order given by a law court, usually to stop someone from doing something.”
  • However, an injunction only acts as a deterrent and does not mean that all alleged instances of misuse will be corrected immediately.
  • This is because even when a court grants it, it is not easy to track all such cases and act on them. HOB might have to separately issue takedown orders to online intermediaries like Google for removing the infringed works.

What is passing off?

  • Suppose a brand logo is misspelt in a way that’s not easy for the consumer to discern.
  • In such cases, the infringing products need not be identical, but the similarity in the nature, character, and performance of the goods of the rival traders has to be established, as laid down by the Supreme Court in Cadila Healthcare Limited vs. Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited (2001).
  • To make a claim of ‘passing off’, some form of deceptionmisrepresentation, or harm to the goodwill and reputation of the owner of a mark has to be established.
  • In its 2001 ruling, the court also said that passing-off is a “species of unfair trade competition or of actionable unfair trading by which one person, through deception, attempts to obtain an economic benefit of the reputation which another has established for himself in a particular trade or business”.

CALIPSO mission stops blasting lasers on Earth

GS Paper - 3 (Space Technology)

The CALIPSO mission that analysed climate, weather, and air quality ended, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announced. The CALIPSO (Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observation) mission recorded more than 10 billion LIDAR measurements and helped create thousands of scientific reports over its 17 years of operation.

More about CALIPSO

  • It was launched jointly by NASA and France’s CNES (Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales) along with the cloud-profiling radar system on the CloudSat satellite.
  • The Lidar and radar instruments on the satellite direct beams of energy at Earth and measure how they reflect off the clouds and the aerosols in the atmosphere.
  • Other orbiting science experiments typically use passive sensors that measure the sunlight or other radiation reflected by the Earth or clouds.
  • The two satellites were launched on 28 April 2006, and they circled the planet in a Sun-synchronous orbit from the North to the South poles.
  • This meant that they crossed the equator in the early afternoon every day. They measured the altitude of clouds and layers of airborne particles like dustsea saltash and soot while probing the “vertical structure” of the atmosphere.
  • The observations from the two satellites allowed scientists to build more sophisticated models to understand complex atmospheric processes like cloud formationatmospheric convectionprecipitation and particle transport.
  • This was especially useful in situations like during the massive wildfires in Australia in 2020.
  • At that time, CALIPS observed smoke rising to between 15 and 20 kilometres above the Earth;s surface, high enough to reach the stratosphere, making them some of the highest plumes ever recorded.

India ageing report 2023

GS Paper - 3 (Economy)

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) India, in collaboration with the International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS), has unveiled the much-anticipated "India Ageing Report 2023."

More about the report

  • This comprehensive report delves into the challengesopportunities, and institutional responses surrounding elderly care in India as the nation undergoes a significant demographic shift towards an ageing population.
  • The "India Ageing Report 2023" offers an in-depth analysis of the living conditions and well-being of older individuals in India.
  • Leveraging the latest data from sources such as the Longitudinal Ageing Survey in India (LASI) 2017-18Census of IndiaPopulation Projections by the Government of India (2011-2036), and World Population Prospects 2022 by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, this report provides a contemporary perspective on elderly care in the country.
  • As India experiences demographic ageing, it is crucial to ensure that our elderly population has access to the care and support required for them to lead healthy, dignified, and fulfilling lives, remarked Saurabh Garg, Secretary, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (Government of India).
  • Older persons have made substantial contributions to society, and they deserve nothing less than our utmost efforts to ensure their well-being.
  • The need for enhanced geriatric care to address the unique healthcare requirements of seniors, a diverse array of government schemes and policies focusing on the health, financial empowerment, and capacity building of the elderly population, active involvement of community-based organizations in digital empowerment through computer and internet usage sessions, Ministerial committees dedicated to shaping policies for the welfare of the elderly, corporate initiatives aimed at promoting joyful ageing, providing social assistance, establishing old age homes, and raising awareness about elder abuse, are the key findings from the report.
  • The "India Ageing Report 2023" serves as a valuable resource for India's journey towards providing better care and support to its ageing population.
  • It outlines key areas of focus and initiatives that can help ensure the well-being and dignity of older citizens in the country.

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