Humans of Bombay (HOB), an Indian storytelling platform, on Sunday, issued a clarification regarding the court plea it filed against another content platform, People of India (POI). HOB said their legal action is not against storytelling but rather aimed at protecting their intellectual property. This clarification follows criticism urging them to drop the lawsuit, citing that HOB itself draws inspiration from a US-based content creator.
“The suit is related to the IP in our posts & not about storytelling at all. We tried to address the issue amicably before approaching the Court, as we believe in protecting our team’s hard work,” HOB said in an X (formerly Twitter) post.
HOB has accused POI, an Instagram handle, of “completely replicating its business model and even the stories themselves”. They further alleged that POI approached the same individuals featured on their websites to create an “imitative platform”.
Regarding HOB’s copyright infringement suit, the Delhi High Court has issued a summons to the Instagram handle. In the order shared by HOB, the court observed: “Prima facie there is substantial imitation and in fact, in some cases, the photographs/images are identical or imitative.”
This clarification came in response to netizens criticising Humans of Bombay that they themselves have been themed on the US-based Humans of New York while pursuing copyright infringement against People of India.
Even Brandon Stanton, the founder of Humans of New York, joined the discussion. He expressed his disappointment in an X post on Saturday, saying that he had refrained from commenting on the appropriation of his work. He said that Humans of Bombay shares important stories but questioned their decision to sue another storytelling platform for something he had forgiven them for.
In a swift response, HOB urged Brandon Stanton to understand the full background of the case before making what they called a “cryptic assault” on their efforts to protect their intellectual property rights.