ANI seeks Rs 2 crore in damages from PTI for alleged video theft

Delhi High Court issues summons to the Press Trust of India in copyright infringement and plagiarism case filed by Asian News International

ANI claims PTI unlawfully copied and distributed its video footage (Photo: @ANI/X)
ANI claims PTI unlawfully copied and distributed its video footage (Photo: @ANI/X)

NH Digital

The Delhi High Court on Friday, 5 July, has issued summons to news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) to respond to a copyright infringement and plagiarism case filed by competitor Asian News International (ANI). The next hearing has been fixed for 9 August.

ANI has sought damages of over Rs 2 crore and a permanent injunction restraining PTI from publishing any other original works of the plaintiff (ANI).

Justice Mini Pushkarna has directed PTI to file its response against ANI’s claim that PTI unlawfully copied and distributed ANI’s video footage from the Delhi–Darbhanga SpiceJet flight incident on 19 June 2024.

The dispute arises from the use of video footage depicting passengers suffering on a SpiceJet flight due to a malfunctioning air conditioning system, even as the flight was on the runway, at a time when much of the country was going through a heatwave.

ANI has moved the High Court, arguing that PTI copied its videos of passengers in a Delhi–Darbhanga Spicejet flight suffering for nearly an hour on the flight.

ANI claims that the longer and shorter versions of the video from inside the flight were shot by its video journalism unit, yet PTI had published identical videos. ANI claims PTI published it after the videos appeared on ANI's X feed, insinuating plagiarism.

Senior advocate Rajshekhar Rao appeared for PTI and said that PTI will take down the videos in 24 hours.

Senior advocate Chander M. Lall, who appeared for ANI, stated that not only must PTI take down the video and acknowledge that it was ANI’s work, but also apologise and write to all newspapers that published the report as received from the PTI feed.

This was contested by Rao, who said that it was a case of the 'pot calling the kettle black', as PTI had already said that it was a third-party video. PTI underscored that there was no need for an apology.

The bench wanted to send both parties to mediation, but ANI opposed the idea. 

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