Fan takes Facebook to court as BCCI acts tough on media rights infringement

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A Chandigarh-based cricket fan has filed a suit against Facebook for deactivating her accounts. The dispute cropped us as the Board of Control for Cricket in India has reported the media rights infringement issue to Facebook after the fan has posted a match clip on her personal account.

The issue relates to the match feed of the India Sri Lanka One-Day International in Mohali on December 17 last year.

According to an Indian Express report, fan Monica Shail has posted a clip from the live broadcast on her personal Facebook account. The clip prominently showed her in the audience at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in Mohali.

Facebook, following a media rights infringement report from the BCCI, had deleted the clip and blocked the social media account of Monica, who then has moved the district court for orders to restore the account.

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Facebook had formally informed Monica about removing the clip from her page. “We removed or disabled access to the following content you posted on Facebook because we received a notice from a third party that the content infringes their copyright(s). Video uploaded on December 14th, 1.29 am PST. Facebook isn’t in a position to adjudicate disputes between third parties. If you believe this content should not have been removed from Facebook, you can contact the complaining party directly to resolve your issue. Contact information rights owner – Board of Control for Cricket in India,” Facebook had informed Monica in an email message.”

The mail further read “If an agreement is reached to restore the reported content, please get the complaining party to email us with their consent and include the original reference number. We will not be able to restore this content to Facebook unless we receive explicit notice of consent from the complainant party. Please note that the complaining party is not required to respond to your request. We strongly encourage you to review the content you have posted to Facebook to make sure that you have not posted any other infringing content, as it is our policy to terminate the accounts of repeat infringers when appropriate”.

Thereafter Facebook also informed Monica that her account was deactivated.

As her account was not reactivated in spite of a formal apology, Monica had approached the court, states the Indian Express report. Monica has pleaded that she was running her business from the Facebook page, which has over 400 friends and close to 8,500 followers. Her lawyer has argued that “since Facebook had removed the video content from her account, they cannot block or deactive her account”.

Facebook India in its reply to the court said, “Facebook India is neither a necessary nor a proper party and the suit should, therefore, be dismissed against Facebook India… Facebook is not responsible for hosting any content that may appear on the Facebook Service and does not own or operate the servers, Facebook India was not responsible for hosting the content of complainant….”

BCCI is yet to file its reply. The next date of case’s hearing is scheduled November 30.

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