An FIR has been filed against Sundar Pichai over copyright infringement. The complaint has been filed by a Mumbai Filmmaker against Google CEO Sundar Pichai and 5 other tech giants. The news comes days after Pichai was conferred the Padma Award by the Indian Government.
The complaint has been filed by Bollywood filmmaker Suneel Darshan over a copyright infringement of a Bollywood movie on YouTube. The movie has been doing rounds on YouTube garnering millions of views on it illegally. The maker of the film has held Google CEO responsible for the illegal circulation of his intellectual property.
Along with Pichai, YouTube MD Gautam Anand and other 4 employees have also been named in the FIR.
Illegal Streaming of Film
As per the Filmmaker Suneel Darshan, he has not sold the rights of his 2017 film ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha’ to anyone. Yet, it has been illegally streamed on YouTube for months, getting millions of views. As per Suneel’s claims, his film is “blatantly” used with over a billion infringements, and a huge amount of money is being incurred by the illegal uploading of his film.
Darshan submitted his appeal through his lawyer Aditya Chitale and claimed that he had not assigned the rights of his movie to anyone, despite which others were gaining from it.
Why Filed the FIR?
“I hold Sundar Pichai responsible since he represents Google. I have tracked over 1 billion views of my ‘Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha’ have been recorded. No action has been taken despite this concern being raised with the company,” Mr Darshan said.
He also alleged that companies were making hundreds of dollars of revenue through advertisement by illegally circulating his intellectual property. Despite reaching out to the officials at the Google office, no action was taken- Suneel claimed.
“Have Faith in Technology, But…”
Suneel reached out to the Mumbai police and registered an FIR on Wednesday against the CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, along with four others executives over the copyright infringement case.
The MIDC Police recorded the FIR for offences under Sections 51, 63 and 69 of the Copyright Act. Apart from Pichai and Anand, the other accused include Google’s grievance officer Joe Grier and executives Namrata Rajkumar, Pawan Agarwal and Chaintanya Prabhu.
He said: “My faith and belief in the advancement of technology are implicit, but the infringement of my rights is a cause of grave concern.”
India’s Problem with Piracy
India has a long history of piracy, especially of intellectual properties. Movies being pirated on the first day of release is not an unprecedented act. Now with the advent of technology, this is much easier to do.
Not just films, India is a victim of illegal circulation of books, media and any form of art.
Without strict laws against piracy, it’s difficult to combat this phenomenon which is stopping many potential artists and creators from coming into the field and exploring their potential.