Copyright Battle Unfolds: Humans of Bombay Takes on People of India

The Humans of New York versus Humans of Bombay versus People of India


In a recent legal development that underscores the significance of intellectual property rights in the digital age, the Delhi High Court has issued a notice in a case filed by the popular storytelling platform “Humans of Bombay” (HOB) against “People of India” (POI). HOB has alleged that POI is unlawfully replicating its unique storytelling format and making it accessible to the public. This legal tussle promises to shed light on the complexities of copyright infringement and intellectual property protection in the realm of digital content creation.

The Dispute

Humans of Bombay Stories Private Ltd. has sought interim relief in its appeal against “POI Social Media Private Ltd.” A single-judge panel of Justice Prathiba Singh issued the notice to the defendant, while setting the date for the application’s hearing on the next court session. Simultaneously, HOB’s primary lawsuit, which also led to the issuance of summonses by the High Court, includes an application for temporary relief. The court will convene for the next hearing on October 11.

HOB’s Argument

Representing Humans of Bombay, the advocate argued that the defendant, POI, had launched a platform called “People of India” that closely resembled their own service, complete with identical content. The accused, it is alleged, had copied images and videos from the Humans of Bombay website and featured them on their own platform. The advocate presented a comparison table illustrating the extent of the imitation, even suggesting that in some cases, photos were identical.

The High Court’s Observation

After reviewing the comparison table, the High Court noted, “Perusal of the same would show that there is substantial imitation and in some cases, photos are identical.” This observation implies a strong case for copyright infringement and raises questions about intellectual property protection in the age of online content sharing.

The Legal Claims

According to the plea filed by HOB, the similarities between the infringing content and their own not only violate their copyright but also constitute passing off and unfair competition. It is alleged that POI knowingly and deliberately published content that was either identical or substantially similar to HOB’s, attempting to capitalize on the goodwill that HOB has built over the years.

The Legal Claims


The application by HOB seeks several remedies, including an order for People of India to remove all content that they have directly or indirectly produced based on Humans of Bombay’s work. Additionally, the application claims that People of India violated the copyright of videos posted on HOB’s YouTube and Instagram accounts. It alleges that POI unlawfully appropriated HOB’s distinctive storytelling format and used HOB’s literary work to create duplicate cinematograph films.


This legal battle between Humans of Bombay and People of India underscores the importance of protecting intellectual property rights, particularly in the digital realm where content sharing is prevalent. It remains to be seen how the Delhi High Court will adjudicate on this matter, but it undoubtedly serves as a cautionary tale for those who may be tempted to replicate or reuse digital content without proper authorization. This case reinforces the need for creators and content platforms to be vigilant in safeguarding their intellectual property in an era where digital content is king.