The Delhi High Court on April 8, 2019, in the case of Super Cassettes Pvt. Ltd v. Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg & Ors
., has ordered YouTube to remove two songs published by Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie on its channel.
The interim order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of JusticeJayant Nath
in a suit filed by T-Series owner Super Cassettes Pvt Ltd., seeking a decree of permanent injunction against PewDiePie, from uploading, communicating, exploiting, etc. the songs titled ‘T-Series Diss Track/Bitch Lasagna’ and ‘Congratulations’. T-Series’ in the suit has alleged that the two impugned songs are, on the face of it, defamatory, disparaging, insulting and offensive. These videos are accessible throughout the world to a global audience of more than a billion who access internet and YouTube every day, T-Series said in the plaint.
The company submitted before the court that PewDiePie had the most subscribed channel on YouTube. Of late, the popularity of T-Series increased so significantly that it overtook PewDiePie as the most subscribed YouTube Channel in the world, across all categories. T-Series thus contended that PewDiePie in a bid to outscore T-Series and regain its top position, has been uploading defamatory and disparaging music videos which target the company and Indians as a community and contain racist, inflammatory and hateful remarks against the Indian community as well as T-Series in a bid to ridicule and disparage the T-Series and its trademark. The court on perusal of the snapshots of the videos uploaded by PewDiePie opined that the songs contain “repeated comments made which are abusive, vulgar and also racist in nature.” “In my opinion, it would be in the interest of justice that these videos are taken off by YouTube,” Justice Nath ordered. The court noted that on August 7, 2018, PewDiePie sent a communication to T-Series and apologized for posting a video stating that “it was all in good fun.” He had also assured that he was “not planning any more videos on the same line.” However, on March 31, 2019, he posted a new song on the same lines. Therefore, the court found it appropriate to direct YouTube to remove and disable access to the two songs, ‘T-Series Diss Track/Bitch Lasagna’ and ‘Congratulations’ within two weeks and asked it to ensure that the songs do not get uploaded ever again on its platform. The court also issued notice to PewDiePie in the suit and posted the matter for further hearing on July 15, 2019. [Read Order]