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Delhi HC issues notice to Republic TV on Times Group’s petition alleging copyright violation

MUMBAI: The Bennett Coleman & Company Ltd ( BCCL) has filed a petition in Delhi High Court against Arnab Goswami’s ARG Outlier Media Asianet News, the owner and operator of Republic TV, for alleged violation of contract and copyright violation.

Issuing a notice to ARG Outlier Media Asianet News, the bench of Justice Manmohan posted the matter for hearing on 26 May.

The media conglomerate contended that Goswami’s news outfit had aired audio clips as part of its news bulletin which they had acquired during their employment with Times Now.

It said that the audio clips, which Republic TV had used during its coverage of the Lalu Prasad Yadav tapes and Sunanda Pushkar murder case, were its intellectual property and hence their use amounted to violation of IP rights.

The petition is a continuation of the media group’s legal fight against Goswami, who left Times Now in November to launch Republic TV.

Earlier, Times Group had filed an FIR against Goswami and his colleague Prema Sridevi, who was earlier with Times Now, under Section 378, read with Sections 379, 403, 405, 406, 409, 411, 414 and 418 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), and Sections 66-B, 72 and 72-A of the Information Technology Act 2000, read with Section 34 and 120-B of the IPC.

The media conglomerate had lodged a complaint against the duo on 16 May for theft, criminal breach of trust, misappropriation of property and infringement of IPR of BCCL.

The BCCL had contended that both these exposés displayed material in the form of audio tapes of phone conversations that were procured and accessed while Goswami and Prema were in the employment of Times Now.

The company had also claimed that Goswami and Prema had admitted on Republic TV that the audio tapes in the Sunanda Pushkar case aired on 8 May were in their possession for the last two years when they were with Times Now.

The media group has also clarified that the tapes in question were only known to Goswami and his close circle. It also alleged that the tapes were hidden from the organisation.

As reported by TelevisionPost.com, Goswami has rubbished BCCL’s charges saying that there is no copyright violation. He has also said that he will respond to the charges of the media group at an appropriate time.