Humans of Bombay Takes 'People of India' to Court - Join the Debate on IP Rights!


A legal battle is unfolding in the digital storytelling realm as Humans of Bombay, a prominent social media platform, takes legal action against a similar online portal named 'People of India' for alleged copyright infringement.

Humans of Bombay, inspired by the iconic 'Humans of New York,' has accused 'People of India' of copying not only its content but also its logo, tagline, and the storytelling format it predominantly employs.

The dispute has escalated to the point where a lawsuit has been filed in the Delhi High Court. Humans of Bombay is seeking both damages and an injunction to prevent 'People of India' from utilizing its content. The Delhi High Court, on September 18, issued a notice to 'People of India,' expressing concerns over substantial imitation.

However, this legal move did not sit well with Brandon Stanton, the founder of 'Humans of New York,' established in 2010. On September 23, Stanton publicly criticized Humans of Bombay for taking legal action, accusing them of emulating his format.

Brandon Stanton posted on X, stating, "I've stayed quiet on the appropriation of my work because I think Humans Of Bombay shares important stories, even if they've monetized far past anything I'd feel comfortable doing on Humans Of New York. But you can't be suing people for what I've forgiven you for."

Responding to Stanton's criticism, Humans of Bombay issued an open letter on X the same day, addressing the matter. The letter expressed shock at the cryptic attack on their efforts to protect their intellectual property, particularly without understanding the case's background.

The statement in the letter read, "It’s shocking that a cryptic assault on our efforts to protect our intellectual property is made in this manner, especially without understanding the background of the case."

"HoB is all for the power of storytelling, and it should be done honestly and ethically. We believe in the honourable court of India and will request patience for the law to take its own course after hearing all facts of the matter," the statement further clarified.

On September 24, Humans of Bombay provided additional clarification on X, stating, “The suit is related to the IP in our posts & not about storytelling at all. We tried to address the issue amicably before approaching the Court, as we believe in protecting our team’s hard work.”

Despite attempts to seek comments from both parties, CNBC-TV18 did not receive any responses.

Humans of Bombay, founded in 2014 by Karishma Mehta, started as a Facebook (now Meta) page, sharing stories of individuals across Mumbai through a photoblog approach. The platform swiftly gained popularity and has now amassed over 2.5 million followers on Instagram.

The legal tussle between Humans of Bombay and 'People of India' underscores the importance of intellectual property protection in the digital storytelling landscape, as well as the complexities surrounding content creation, inspiration, and imitation.



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