Humans of Bombay trial and Humans of New York response explained.


The creator of the popular photography project Humans of New York is embroiled in a legal dispute involving two spin-off accounts in India – criticizing one of the accounts for trying to monetize his concept.

After Humans of Bombay sued a local competitor, People of India, for copyright infringement, Brandon Stanton accused the account of “appropriation” and criticized the account’s apparent double standards inspired by his work. of Stanton, a former bond trader from Georgia, founded Humans of New York in 2010 and now has nearly 13 million followers on his Instagram account.

“You can’t sue people for what I’ve forgiven you,” Stanton said In a tweet on Saturday aimed at Humans of Bombay that has been viewed more than 4 million times on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

What is the Humans of Bombay controversy?

Humans of Bombay filed a claim against the People of India, A similar photography platform, for copyright infringement in the Delhi High Court. On September 18, the court issued a summons order in the case. In the order, reviewed by The Washington Post, the court said a preliminary review of the evidence presented by Humans of Bombay suggested a “substantial imitation” of its content.

Humans of Bombay was founded in 2014 by Karishma Mehta, initially as a Facebook page. It has since grown and now has 2.7 million followers on Instagram. People from India, which started posting on Instagram in March 2019, has 1.5 million followers on its English-language page, as well as a second account that posts in Hindi.

Humans of New York features striking portraits of people on the street as well as carefully crafted captions that tell the story. Inspirational life stories of everyday men and women. The format has helped. Raise money for those in need – what New York magazine called the “Empire of Empathy.”

Just when we need it, ‘Man’ reminds us what it means to be human.

Both Humans of Bombay and People of India post photos and videos of people and share their stories in a format reminiscent of Humans of New York. Posts range from harrowing and deeply personal accounts of health issues, poverty and assault to inspirational posts about business and relationships. Like Humans of New York, Humans of Bombay has promoted fundraisers for some of the individuals whose stories it features.

What are the people of India being sued for?

Humans of Bombay alleges that Humans of India is a “similar portal/service” that has “duplicated a large number of images and videos,” as ordered by the Delhi High Court.

Humans of Bombay also alleged that People of India had “completely copied” its business model, according to court documents.

The subpoena contains screenshots submitted by Humans of Bombay, which show at least a dozen instances in which people in India posted videos or photos that matched Humans of Bombay’s account. Looks like it’s burning. The images in the complaint were grainy and The Post could not independently verify their authenticity.

“Copyright law protects detailed expression — the literal story on the page; the original text of paragraphs and illustrations,” said Dev Saif Gangjee, an intellectual property expert at the University of Oxford, in an email. cannot protect the point of view,” because that would be “too abstract.

According to its founder, Humans of Bombay, which registered as a private limited company in 2015, derives up to 60 percent of its revenue from advertisements.

In the past, Humans of Bombay has teamed up with major brands including Netflix, OKCapped and WhatsApp to post content. Humans of Bombay says on its website that the partnership – which it says has received millions of impressions – has resulted in an increase in app downloads and created “buzz” around certain products. .

Mehta said in a YouTube interview in July that the Humans of Bombay umbrella includes a branding agency and a YouTube show. She said she wants Bombay Humans to stop “selling advertising in the future” and instead focus on “storytelling and meaningful conversations”.

Mehta declined to comment when reached by text on Monday.

The next hearing of the case will be held on October 11.

What does New Yorker Brandon Stanton’s Humans say about ‘allocation’?

After Stanton, the court case drew international attention Publicly reprimanded Human of Bombay. In a statement, the account accused him of appropriating his work and monetizing a format that has earned him a global following of empathetic storytelling.

Stanton — who says he received no money for stories published on Humans of New York, though he receives money for his books and speeches and from supporters — criticized the accounts, which, although his original Inspired by the idea, monetize these stories. characteristic

“I can’t provide an informed opinion on the intricacies of copyright law, but I do have an opinion on what it means to be an artist,” he said in an emailed statement to The Post, adding that art is motivated primarily by profit. Art ceases to be.”

“I welcome anyone who is using the ‘human of’ concept to express something true and/or beautiful about their community. I don’t identify with anyone who makes it their own. Using it to create a lifestyle,” he said in response to a request from Humans of Bombay about the case.

On social media, many Indians echoed Stanton’s criticism, with some arguing that the Humans of Bombay account is conceptually similar to Humans of New York — not least because Humans of Bombay’s tagline is Humans of New York. Jessie says, “One story at a time,” in her Instagram bio.

What about all the other spin-offs?

Humans of New York has inspired many similar Instagram accounts around the world that share stories of people from a particular country, city, school or affinity group.

The models they follow vary, and most follow less than Humans of New York. But Stanton praises at least one for staying true to its original concept: Humans of Amsterdam, launched nearly a decade ago by Dutch photographer Debra Beraud.

“Debra has been very true to the art,” he said, “and has never seen the stories she shares as the ‘front end’ of the business.” was inspired by the “Humans of New York and the Humans of Tel Aviv” to create the Humans of Tel Aviv. In a statement on Monday, she said “there would be no Humans in Amsterdam without the Humans of New York.”



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