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Case Law Details

Case Name : Ani Technologies Private Limited Vs State of Karnataka (Karnataka High Court)
Appeal Number : Writ Petition No. 32942 of 2017 (GM- RES)
Date of Judgement/Order : 20/12/2021
Related Assessment Year :
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Ani Technologies Private Limited Vs State of Karnataka (Karnataka High Court)

Facts- The petitioners are also known as Ola or Ola Cabs. The 2nd respondent is Lahari Recording Company, one of the music companies in India. The petitioners who run Ola cabs launched a feature in their cabs/taxis where television/display sets are fixed to the headrest of the front seat where popular songs are played. This feature is known in the cabs circle as Ola play and such cabs are known as Ola Prime. Noticing that several of the contents of music videos and songs belonging to several of the films whose music copyrights the 2nd respondent owns were being displayed in Ola Prime cabs under the feature Ola play and on the ground that Ola cabs are indulging in commercial exploitation of copyright of the music whose copyright is owned by the 2nd respondent without purchasing such copyright registered a complaint on 13-05-2017 alleging infringement of Copyright Act, 1957 (‘the Act’ for short). On registration of the said complaint before the Additional Commissioner of Police, investigation is directed to be conducted and an FIR came to be registered in Crime No.191 of 2017 alleging offences punishable under Sections 63 and 64 of the Act. At that juncture, the petitioners, the Company and the Directors of Ola Cabs have knocked the doors of this Court in the subject writ petition.


Merely because a separate provision under Section 64 of the Act which depicts power of search and seizure by the Police is also found in the statute, it does not take away cognizability of the offence punishable under Section 63 of the Act.

The competent criminal Court can sentence an offender under Section 63 of the Act to three years imprisonment. Exact three years is a possibility in a given circumstance. Therefore, it would fall under Item No.2 of Schedule II of the Cr.P.C.

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July 2024