YouTuber Dhruv Rathee in Legal Trouble over Real Juice Video
In a recent development, the Calcutta High Court directed popular YouTuber Dhruv Rathee to remove and restrain access to a Real Juice video from all URL/web links. The court passed this order while hearing a suit filed by Dabur to protect intellectual property rights.
The court directed Rathee to remove the offending portions of the video that made any reference to Dabur’s product.
According to the suit filed by Dabur, Rathee had uploaded a 21-minute and 59-second video on February 14, which specifically targeted and disparaged packaged fruit goods. The video allegedly made unfair comparisons between carbonated soft drinks and RTS fruit beverages. Moreover, it also claimed that drinking bottled fruit juice causes hair loss and is harmful if consumed. Dabur had requested Rathee to remove the video on February 15, but he refused to do so in his reply dated February 17.
During the hearing, Dabur contended that the impugned video continues to be aired and published on various digital platforms, even after the interim order was passed. The court noted that Rathee neither presented himself nor sought any adjournment in the case. After listening to all the contentions of the petitioner, the court observed that Dabur had established a strong prima facie case on the merits.
The case highlights the importance of intellectual property rights in the digital age, where content creation and dissemination have become increasingly democratized. The case also underlines the need for content creators to be mindful of the claims they make and the references they use in their work, particularly when it concerns the products or services of others. The court’s decision emphasizes content creators’ responsibility towards ensuring that their work is not misleading or defamatory, and that it does not infringe upon the rights of others.
The court has listed the matter for hearing on March 30, and it remains to be seen what further developments will emerge in the case. In any event, the case serves as a reminder that intellectual property rights are an essential aspect of any modern economy, and they must be protected and enforced to ensure a level playing field for all participants.