Moviebox Megastores (International) Limited, Oriental Start Agencies Limited, Moviebox (Birmingham) Limited v Mohammad Akram Rahi, Shazia Manzoor, Azeem Ud Din Qureshi  EWHC 501 (Ch)
Jonathan Gale appeared successfully in a trial in the High Court in Birmingham for Moviebox and Oriental Star Agencies, the well-known Birmingham-based publishers of Punjabi music. Jonathan was involved from the beginning of proceedings in September 2020 when he obtained urgent injunctions on behalf of the labels, against individuals who had gone to great lengths, and conspired, to make fraudulent copyright claims to YouTube resulting in the de-activation of one of Moviebox’s channels, and the potential banning by YouTube of any more of the publishers’ content, under the “Three-Strikes Policy.”
Jonathan guided the action, initially drafting urgent applications and claims in the torts of causing loss by unlawful means and conspiracy, and seeing them right through to a 9-day trial in front of HHJ Rawlings in December 2022, instructed by Martin Noble (of Shakespeare Martineau and then Freeths). At the trial Jonathan was able to expose the wide-ranging fraud of the defendants and enable the publishers to continue their business.
It can be time-consuming and difficult for publishers of material online to deal with fraudulent IP complaints involving a third-party internet service provider who is not willing or able to resolve copyright disputes, but who will often remove disputed content without investigation. Such complaints are difficult to prevent. This was a case where the music-publishers were fighting for their viability on a major online platform against those who were determined to cause damage to them.
The claimants secured a final injunction (a) dissuading the defendants from issuing any strikes against the claimants’ YouTube channels or encouraging others to do so (and dissuading others from doing so at their encouragement); and (b) enabling the claimants to demonstrate to YouTube that there is in place an extant injunction that prohibits the defendants from engaging in issuing strikes against the claimants’ YouTube channels or encouraging others to do so.
Written by Guy Dunwoody