Three Indian films will be at Cannes Film Festival this year. While Rahul Jain’s Invisible Dreams will be present at Official Selection – Cinema for the Climate, Payal Kapadia’s A Night of Knowing Nothing will be at Directors’ Fortnight and Suman Sen’s Eka (Solo) at La FabriqueCinema 2021. Rahul Jain’s Invisible Dreams, filmed entirely in Delhi, where Jain was born and raised, looks at the impact of pollution and climate change on the residents of India’s Capital city. Payal Kapadia’s film A Night of Knowing Nothing unfolds as a flower blossoms in the course of an afternoon in a house where a 60-year-old widow lives with a Nepali maid. Suman Sen’s Eka (Solo), an Indo-Bangladeshi venture backed by Arifur Rahman of Goopy Bagha Productions, is one of ten projects selected for the La Fabrique mentoring programme of the Institut Francais.
The Times Network has said that its news channel, Times Now, will not publish or air anything defamatory to the Hindi film industry. This comes after four film industry associations and 34 producers filed a lawsuit in October against Republic TV and Times Now and a few of their anchors, alleging ‘irresponsible reporting’. In a joint statement issued with The Producers Guild of India, which is one of the plaintiffs, Times Network said that they have settled the matter. According to the statement, “The application for settlement along with the consent terms is pending for acceptance before the Delhi High Court.”
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has launched an antitrust probe against tech giant Google over the alleged dominance of its Android Operating System in the Smart TV market in India. In an order dated 22 June, CCI said it found Google “prima facie” in violation of India’s antitrust regulations and asked its director general (DG) to further investigate the matter. Google’s Android OS has a 90 per cent market share in the smart TV segment, which according to the watchdog violates the country’s competition laws. The complaint filed by antitrust lawyers Kshitiz Arya and Purushottam Anand in May last year alleges that Google bars any company that acquired the licence for its AndroidTV platform from working with its competitors.
The European Commission opened a new investigation into Google to assess whether the tech giant has favored its own online display ad technology services. The investigation will also explore whether Google is unfairly limiting access to user data to its competitors. In a statement, Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice president in charge of competition policy said: “We are concerned that Google has made it harder for rival online advertising services to compete in the so-called ad tech stack. A level playing field is of the essence for everyone in the supply chain.” Google is one of the world’s largest companies with a market value of more than $1.6 trillion.
US lawmakers recently announced huge bipartisan bills aimed at huge tech companies. At a time when such developments are being witnessed across the world, many outlets reported that Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google were directly targeted in the new set of bills that would put more restrictions on corporations’ monopolistic tactics such as acquiring competitors. Naturally, these corporations are widely against the new bills and have begun executing their lobbying campaigns against the bills. Following this, thirteen organizations, many allied with high-tech companies, wrote to the US House Judiciary Committee on Monday urging lawmakers to vote against two of the most far-reaching antitrust bills that the committee will discuss this week. The two bills – one introduced by Representative David Cicilline, chair of the antitrust subcommittee, and the other by Representative Pramila Jayapal – address the issue of giant companies, such as Amazon.com Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, creating a platform for other businesses and then competing against those same businesses.
YouTube has won its latest copyright-infringement challenge after Europe’s top court said online platforms are not liable for users uploading unauthorised works unless the platforms failed to take quick action to remove or block access to the content. The European Court of Justice ruled that YouTube and other online platforms shouldn’t be held liable for copyright-infringing uploads in some cases. They could, however, be held liable if they are aware copyrighted content is available illegally and refrain from ‘expeditiously deleting it,’ the ECJ said. This development marks a win for YouTube and other platforms, which have long tussled with artists and musicians over compensation for work that gets shared online. This has come at a time when India is also looking for an answer on who is responsible — uploader or platform — for the content. One has to wait and watch to know whether this ruling will have some reprieve for YouTube in India.
The Mumbi crime branch probing the Television Rating Points (TRP) manipulation scam has named Republic TV chief Arnab Goswami (added as 19th accused),four employees of the channel and two others in its second supplementary chargesheet submitted in the 37th metropolitan magistrate court on Tuesday. Goswami has been named along with Shivendu Mulekar, chief operating officer Priya Mukherjee and chief financial officer Shiva Sundaram in the 1,800-page chargesheet. This development has come nine months after the police registered an FIR in the case and former Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh named the channel as being involved in the scam.
At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic has hit education sector hard, Tamil Nadu government has found a solution to bridge the gap- Kalvi TV. The television channel, which has become a hit among students and parents, is offering online classes. The model can be emulated by other states and private players as well. Since schools remained shut owing to the Covid-19, video lessons began on Kalvi TV for the 2020-21 academic year. Following this, bridge course programmes were telecast over the summer as well, after the academic year to address learning gaps. For this purpose, students were given workbooks. Says P A Naresh, Joint Director of the School Education Department, and special officer, Kalvi TV, “this year, we have added lessons for Classes 1 and 12 as well. Last year, Class 12 students had recorded video lessons on their laptops, which they had used to study.”