Regulators

Cricket footage fracas: HC adjourns case to 12 December

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NEW DELHI: When it comes to matters cricketing, the courts may propose but the jostling parties are more than unlikely to reach a compromise.

And so it was with a suggestion the Delhi High Court put forth yesterday to Prasar Bharati and five private television news channels to amicably settle a dispute over use of video footage of the ongoing India-South Africa cricket series. When the case came up for hearing today there was no agreement and the matter has been adjourned to 12 December.

The case pertains to an assertion by the pubcaster that it had the exclusive rights from the Board of Control for cricket in India (BCCI) to telecast the matches and that some news channels were violating the terms it had laid down for usage of its footage. Sahara Samay, Asianet News, ETV2, India TV and TV9 are the news channels Prasar Bharati accuses of being in breach of the terms.

The hearing follows the filing of a petition by India TV challenging the locus standi of Prasar Bharati to move court in the matter. The High Court had on 28 October restrained the five news channels from using the footage following a suit filed by Prasar Bharati.

''The use of footage by the news channels in their news bulletins does not amount to infringement of copyright but is a bonafide act of fair dealing and fair use,'' India TV's counsel Pratibha Singh has been quoted in news reports as arguing. Singh further argued that whereas the private news channels were restrained, Doordarshan News was allowed to use about 120 minutes of footage even though it was not in the perview of the contract.

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