Home Media Rajya Sabha TV accuses The Wire of stealing, illegally possessing and using copyrighted material

Rajya Sabha TV accuses The Wire of stealing, illegally possessing and using copyrighted material

It is pertinent to note that under the Congress government, Rajya Sabha TV, which came under the control of former vice president Hamid Ansari, was allegedly used to spread agenda and pay the ‘loyalists’ handsomely.

Rajya Sabha TV (RSTV) has served a legal notice to the Leftist propaganda website, The Wire, for intellectual property rights and copyright infringement. In the legal notice, RSTV has also accused The Wire of coming into possession of copyright material of Rajya Sabha TV in an “unauthorised and unlawful manner suggestive of either stealing or obtaining and making use of the stolen property”.

The notice asks The Wire to provide necessary details and documents within 2 weeks to prove that they have not stolen or come into possession of stolen property of RSTV, that they have not violated exclusive Intellectual Property Rights of RSTV and that they have not infringed upon Copyright vested in RSTV. The legal notice says that should The Wire fail to do so, they will be liable for civil and criminal consequences.

Legal notice sent by RSTV to The Wire

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On 17th September 2018, The Wire had published a story headlined, “RSTV benches anchor for question about Vajpayee’s role in Quit India Movement’. The notice says that in the story, they had used a video clip where an anchor was discussing Atal Bihari Vajpayee with another senior journalist.

The notice says that the video clip used by The Wire in its story is the exclusive property of Rajya Sabha TV and that the clip used by the portal doesn’t even carry the logo of Rajya Sabha TV. The notice also says that The Wire did not seek any permission from RSTV for the use of this clip.

Interestingly enough, the matter, as evidenced by the legal notice goes beyond mere copyright infringement as the legal notice levies as a grave charge against The Wire.

Rajya Sabha TV has alleged that since the clip used by The Wire had no logo of RSTV, it is bound to be the original clip that Rajya Sabha TV has in its possession. It says that prima facie, it would appear that The Wire has not only used the clip without authorisation but also “come into illegal/unlawful possession of the property that belongs to RSTV in an unauthorised manner adopting unlawful methods”. In short, RSTV has accused The Wire of using illegal means to steal the clip from RSTV’s possession since only the original clip exclusive in the possession of Rajya Sabha TV would have no logo of RSTV superimposed in the video.

It is pertinent to note that under the Congress government, Rajya Sabha TV, which came under the control of former vice president Hamid Ansari, was allegedly used to spread agenda and pay the ‘loyalists’ handsomely.

Both, M K Venu and Siddharth Varadarajan, founding editors of The Wire, were paid handsomely, Rs. 15,000 per appearance, totalling to Rs. 33 lakh and Rs. 14.70 lakh respectively, of the taxpayers’ money in the last few years.

Varadarajan, who hosted a show discontinued it from April 2017, while Venu was told not to host the shows he was hosting since August. It is only after August that the hit-jobs by The Wire had gone up.

In 2018 it was reported that the Rajya Sabha Secretariat has decided to probe the alleged irregularities in the functioning of the Rajya Sabha Television (RSTV). The RS secretariat has formed a one-man inquiry committee to look into the allegations since its inception, specifically the expenditure incurred on the production of a film called “Raag Desh” which incurred a cost of whopping Rs. 13 crores.

It is reported that the RSTV, since its inception has spent a huge amount of Rs 1,700 crore of taxpayers money till 2015 to operate the channel. The budget for RSTV is bigger than any government channel and also doesn’t generate any revenue, as the channel has not made any profits out of advertising.

The Wire is known to peddle half-truths and whole lies as a force of habit with a long list to their credit. The Wire, which is being sued for defamation often publish articles that read like Hurriyat press statements. Their article has in the past incited violence. They were recently slammed by the CBEC for peddling fake news. They were blamed by a stand-up comedian for spreading lies in his name. Have peddled ‘data’ from dubious organisations. Was slammed by cricketer Mohammad Kaif was bringing caste into cricket. Has a video series that regularly obfuscates. Its journalists are abusive trolls and people who share communally sensitive fake news. They have in the past tried to rationalise the 1993 bomb blast. Conducted a hit job against Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Defended Chidambaram’s 20:80 gold scheme that benefitted private players like scamster Mehul Choksi. The Wire is a portal where the Editors tell their journalists to not out “Dalit activists” who heckled her. Where their contributors are accused of sexual harassment and their journalist’s conduct drove a female journalist to commit suicide. They had shamelessly compared the Indian Army General to General Dyer. 

Earlier, Rahul Gandhi had shared The Wire’s comprehensively debunked hit job on Piyush Goyal with some caustic comments without realising his self-goal perhaps. He is no stranger to self-goals too. In fact, not so long ago he had done exactly the same when we at OpIndia has preemptively busted an imminent hitjob against the Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley. After our article, ‘The Wire’ had conceded that “there was not much of a story to pursue after all“, which is why they had dropped the story after receiving a response from Jaitley and his daughter’s firm. Mr Rahul Gandhi had then proceeded to plug the very article where ‘The Wire’ had admitted to no impropriety on the part of Arun Jaitley, in a bid to tarnish his image. We had then also speculated whether Rahul Gandhi actually knew of the imminent hitjob. They had conducted a hit job against Amit Shah’s son Jay Shah hitjob which was debunked by us comprehensively and the portal responsible for that hitjob is facing a 100 crore defamation suit, in which the court has already mentioned that a prima facie case exists against the portal. They had also recently conducted a hit job against Amit Shah which was debunked by us.

It is apparent that The Wire’s editorial standards are near absent. After all, it is run by an Editor who had earlier shelved the Robert Vadra land scam story for 7 months for no good reason. This latest lie is just a reflection of their integrity.

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