In the case of Digital Collectibles Pte Ltd v Galactus Funware Technology Pvt Ltd Under the trade name Rario, Digital Collectibles conducts business in India and throughout the world. Rario’s company has developed an online marketplace where third-party users can buy, sell, and exchange officially licenced “Digital Player Cards” of cricket players like Singh and Siraj. The names, photos, and other “Player Attributes” that make up the Digital Player Cards on Rario are used to represent the players. The cricketers have properly licenced and authorised Rario to only use their names and images on the Rario website under Player Services Agreements.
The contention from parties
According to the plaintiff, Rario claimed that the online fantasy sports (OFS) companies MPL and Striker were producing and dispersing NFTs that contained photographs of players with whom Rario had exclusive licence rights. It asserted that the actions taken by MPL and Striker in starting this NFTs business for those athletes amounted to infringement, passing off, a violation of the right to publicity, and unfair competition. In order to prevent them from doing the same, it requested a temporary injunction.
According to the defendant, in order for their Digital Player Cards to operate according to their business model, they must be technologically able to be recognised as legitimate and unique in the online market. On the Rario website, these cards serve as Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and can be bought, sold, or traded for actual money.
The use of celebrity names and images for purposes of parody, satire, art, music, scholarship, academics, news, and other similar uses would be permitted as aspects of the right to freedom of speech and expression under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution of India and would not violate any laws, according to Justice Amit Bansal, who also held that online fantasy sports platforms can use names or images of celebrities and cricketers because such use is protected under the right to freedom of speech.