‘Humans of Bombay’, a popular storytelling platform, recently stirred controversy after it filed a case against People of India (POI) for alleged copyright infringement of its content. On Wednesday, the Delhi High Court directed both Humans of Bombay and People Of India to refrain from using each other’s copyrighted material. The Court passed a permanent injunction, restraining POI from plagiarizing HOB’s literary works and creative expressions.
Shortly after the ruling, the platform’s founder Karishma Mehta took to social media to issue a statement regarding the controversy and argued that their legal case was about ”substantial imitation”. She explained that they were forced to take the legal route because POI ”didn’t stop the plagiarism”, even after 16 of their posts were taken down by Meta.
In a long post, Ms. Mehta explained, ”Our legal case, however, was not about inspiration, but in fact, about as the Delhi High Court termed it-“substantial imitation”. If there had not been explicit plagiarism at play (where the exact content shot, written and created by us was published on another creator’s page), the Indian courts would not have been so willing to listen, let alone issue summons to the party in question.”
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Thanking the Delhi High Court for ”upholding their contentions”, Ms Mehta also addressed the trolling and criticism that her platform received for running Humans of Bombay as a business.
”The outcome of this case will set a precedent for the creator community, and will hopefully go a long way in safeguarding the original content that creators work so hard to build. And finally, yes, Humans of Bombay is a business; that’s something we have never hidden. While some may choose to monetize stories through mediums like books and subscription platforms, we have chosen to do it primarily through meaningful campaigns with partner brands. To this date, what motivates me and my team to work extremely hard is our love for storytelling because we’ve witnessed how the stories we’ve told over the last years have had a lasting cultural impact,” she wrote.
She further revealed that she experienced bullying and a slew of personal attacks, including death and rape threats towards her team and her family.
”While we did not expect to be vilified to this extent, it will not deter us from continuing to tell important stories that change the narrative, and sometimes, even change lives,” she concluded her post.
According to HOB’s plea, People of India allegedly violated copyright by using films from Humans of Bombay’s Instagram account and YouTube channel without permission. Additionally, it claimed that the People of India have also copied HOB’s unique storytelling format without authorisation.