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ABSTRACT

Felonious use of internet memes infringing constitutional


Rights and Intellectual Property Rights

-Pranav Mundra
BC0140040

Internet memes are one of the recent fads amongst youngsters and it has been proven in a study
that an average person spends 5 hours on Facebook out of which 2 hours are solely spent on
internet memes. Given the vast popularity of some of the most widely disseminated memes, it is
not surprising that corporate marketers increasingly seek to harness this popularity to promote
commercial interests. Major brands, including Nike, McDonald's, Cisco, and General Motors, are
beginning to use them for advertising purposes. These memes are created by unlawfully using
tweets, jokes, movie dialogues etc. Recently several cases have been filed against corporate
giants like Warner Bros., 5th cell etc under Copyrigh-+
t Act, Trademark Act, Torts law and other legislations but a lot of individuals running social
media pages infringe intellectual property innocently due to legal unawareness. Also, it infringes
the right to privacy of an individual. Copyright infringement also come into play for non-
obtainment of consent from the individual/author to use his/her image. These amateur and young
creators must procure necessary licenses and approvals from the right holders to prevent any
legal battle or liability in future.
The researcher will research upon various aspects of law being infringed, the constitutional rights
and IPR rights that are being infringed by these meme originators and the analysis of case laws.

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Research Plan:
Research Objective:
The researcher will research upon various area of law, also the paper will aim at the
constitutional rights and IPR rights available against these memes creator to an Individual and
the analysis of cases laws related to the infringement of IPR and Fundamental Rights by these
memes.

Research Questions:

1. Whether any Constitutional Right is being infringed by these memes creator or not?
2. Whether any Intellectual Property Right is being infringed by these memes originator or
not?
3. Whether Indian or any other country law has taken any strict actions to stop the
infringement done by these memes originator?

Research Methodology:

The research methodology used by the researcher is Analytical and Doctrinal approach which
includes both primary and secondary resources. In analytical research methodology, the
researcher uses facts or information already available, and analyzes these to make a critical
evaluation of the material. The data was obtained through various commission reports, news,
articles, opinions of judges, precedents, constitutional articles, etc.

Tentative chapterisation

1. Introduction
2. Violation of Intellectual Property Rights by memes:
2.1 Meaning of Intellectual Property Rights.
2.2 Essential Elements of Copyright.
2.3 Breach that leads to Copyright Infringement.
2.4 Breach done by these memes to constitute infringement.
3. Violation of Constitutional Right:
3.1 Meaning of Constitutional Right.

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3.2 What rights are constitutional Rights?
3.3 Breach done by these memes to constitute infringement.
4. Analysis of case laws
5. Conclusion

References:

1. Memes: Youre Infringing, and You Might Not Know It, Lexis Nexis, 19- nov.-2012
https://www.lexisnexis.com/legalnewsroom/intellectual-property/b/copyright-trademark-law-
blog/archive/2012/11/19/memes-you-re-infringing-and-you-might-not-know-it.aspx?
Redirected=true

2. India: Meme vis a vis Copyright Law, Divya Srivisan, Legal Corbis, 3 August 2015.
http://www.mondaq.com/india/x/417492/Copyright/Meme+vis+a+vis+Copyright+Law

3. I Can Haz Copyright Infringement? Internet Memes and Intellectual Property Risks, Scott J
slavick, Corporate Counsel, 14 nov. 2012.
http://www.brinksgilson.com/files/article_nov_14_corp_counsel_slavick_internet_memes_2012.
pdf

4. Memes and Copyright Infringement Do Internet Laughs Infringe? Amy Sullivan Cahill ,
July 25, 2017