Plagiarism case: Bombay HC raps CNN-IBN

NEW DELHI: In a landmark final order in the case between Urmi Juvekar Chiang Vs Global Broadcasting Network and others, the Bombay High Court yesterday ruled that CNN-IBN has breached the confidentiality of Chiang and violated her copyright.

The court also reprimanded CNN-IBN editor Rajdeep Sardesai for stating in the court that he did not know that one of his team, Ramchandran Srinivasan, had been talking to Chiang about her proposed TV reality show.

The court, in its ruling, stated: "The claim of the Defendants that they have conceived in-house programme "Summer Showdown" around March-April 2007 as a reality show comprising families in metros dealing with problems related to summer, even if accepted, does not take the matter any further.

"For, the Defendants have eventually come out with the programme which departs from the theme of the title 'Summer Showdown' but is ascribable to the theme of the programme of the Plaintiff titled 'Work in Progress'."

In fact, the court underscored a similar order of the Delhi High Court, which had said that if protection is not granted in such cases to the persons whose original work is violated thus, it would be "catastrophic for the television industry".

The channel had countered Chiang's claim that its show (Summer Showdown) was based on Chiang's original literary piece for a proposed reality show (Work in Progress), by stating that theirs was not a reality show, but the court said that this statement did not fit the facts.

CNN-IBN had been advertising in its website, stating that Summer Showdown was indeed their new reality show, and this was given in evidence to the court by Chiang, whose plaint the court upheld on all counts.

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