In a copyright violation case, the Mumbai police filed an FIR against Google CEO Sundar Pichai and four other officials on January 25 under sections 51,63, and 69 of the copyright acts. The case also includes Gautam Anand, the managing director of YouTube. Following a Magistrate's ruling under section 156(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure on a private complaint filed by producer Suneel Darshan regarding his 2017 film "Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha" being unlawfully streamed on YouTube, the FIR was registered.
The FIR was filed by the MIDC Police Department for violations of Sections 51, 63, and 69 of the Copyright Act, other defendants include Google's grievance officer Joe Grier and executives Namrata Rajkumar, Pawan Agarwal, and Chaitanya Prabhu, in addition to Sundar Pichai and Gautam Anand.
Darshan said that he has been a filmmaker for the past 30 years through his lawyer Aditya Chitale. He said he made money illegally by permitting his flicks to be uploaded to YouTube. Despite the fact that others were profiting from Darshan's film, Chitale claimed that Darshan had not assigned the rights to anyone.
He further claimed that the firms made hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenue during and after the screenings of these movies. He further alleged that after multiple emails, the item was not removed. "My complete ped movie has been uploaded and monetized," he said, "and I have helplessly seen such illicit activities." Darshan said that he had no choice but to seek legal help after his repeated appeals were rejected. He explained, "Their behaviors and reactions suggest they are well-versed in deflecting inquiries from my end." While he continued to admire Google, he thought the business had treated true innovators unfairly.
He also added "I have complete respect for both the technology and the funds that they (Google) bring to India," Darshan said, but added that the company's unwillingness to collaborate with experienced content creators and benefit from their expertise had only resulted in mutual loss and denied the audience quality content.
In response, the search engine behemoth stated that it has a set procedure that copyright holders may employ to safeguard their content on platforms like YouTube. On the orders of a magistrate's court, the case was lodged at the MIDC Police Station in suburban Andheri on Tuesday evening, according to a police officer.
The decision also states that after the case was determined in Darshan's favor, he addressed a legal notice to the defendants in May 2021, requesting that they give documentation proof of efforts taken to conduct "due diligence." However, according to the order, no response was received. The court stated that commercial exploitation disguised as fair usage must be avoided. “The court stated, "Copyright protection, like that of other intellectual goods, is recognized as a form of property worthy of special protection since it is considered as benefiting society as a whole and stimulating greater creativity and competition in the public good."