'Block accounts of Congress, Bharat Jodo Yatra': Court directs Twitter over KGF-2 music copyright violations

A complaint was filed by MRT music and FIR was lodged against three Congress leaders including Rahul Gandhi for alleged unauthorized use of music from KGF Chapter 2 during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

'Block accounts of Congress, Bharat Jodo Yatra': Court directs Twitter over KGF-2 music copyright violations

New Delhi: A Bengaluru court on Monday (November 7, 2022) directed Twitter to temporarily block the accounts of the Congress party and Bharat Jodo Yatra for allegedly infringing the statutory copyright owned by MRT Music by illegally using sound records of the film KGF-2. The dedicated commercial court for Bengaluru Urban District said that the Twitter accounts -- '@INCIndia' and '@BharatJodo' -- will remain blocked till the next date of hearing. The court also ordered removing three tweets posted by the party.

The court order came after a complaint was filed by MRT music against three Congress leaders -- Rahul Gandhi, Jairam Ramesh and Supriya Shrinate -- for alleged unauthorized use of music from 'KGF Chapter-2' during the Bharat Jodo Yatra.

"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, the plaintiff who is in the business of acquiring cinematography films, songs, music albums... Will be put to irreparable injury and further same leads to encouraging the piracy at large," the court said in its order.

The court also appointed a commissioner to audit and preserve the evidence on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.

The complaint alleged that the party had posted two videos during the Bharat Jodo Yatra with songs from actor Yash's Kannada film without permission in violation of the Copyright Act. 

The FIR was registered in the Yashwanthpur police station in Karnataka under the provisions of the Copyright Act, the Information Technology Act, and the Indian Penal Code last week.

"The unlawful actions of the accused amount to an offence under section 63 of the Copyrights Act. It is also a serious offence amounting to making a false electronic record with the intention to project the same as genuine and thereby cheating the public at large," the complaint said. 

"Each of the copyrighted content of the complainant has been illegally stored, hosted, downloaded, sideloaded, uploaded and thereby creating infringing copies of the sound recording and audiovisual content as per the Copyright Act, 1957 and the same is liable to be handed over and/or destroyed," it added.

It is noteworthy that Rahul Gandhi's Bharat Jodo Yatra began from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu on September 7 and has so far covered five southern states, namely Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is scheduled to traverse through various states during its 150-day course.

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