The Bombay Stock Exchange may categorise market sentiment for comedian Kunal Kamra as bearish (falling share prices), after it disapproved a "morphed" photo used by the comedian of its landmark building at Mumbai's Dalal Street on Friday.
The photo was shared by Mr Kamra along with three other images, all morphed, to send out a message to not vote for Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the national election. "These photos are as real as Modiji's promises," said Mr Kamra in the tweet, which accompanied the images. The tweet got over 12,000 likes and more than 3,000 retweets till Saturday evening.
These photos are as real as Modiji's promises... pic.twitter.com/zEBOUxyLKJ- Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) April 14, 2019
Not pleased at the image, which displayed "Don't vote for Modi" prominently on the building's ticker that shows share prices, the BSE tagged Mr Kamra in its tweet.
"A fake morphed photo against a political party using BSE building has been shared by @kunalkamra88," the BSE said in its tweet. "BSE is extremely disappointed at unfortunate, unauthorized & illegal use of BSE buildg fr nefarious activities. BSE reserves right to take appropriate legal action angst @kunalkamra88," the BSE added.
A fake morphed photo against a political party using BSE building has been shared by @kunalkamra88.BSE is extremely disappointed at unfortunate,unauthorized & illegal use of BSE buildg fr nefarious activities.BSE reserves right to take appropriate legal action agnst @kunalkamra88- BSE India (@BSEIndia) April 19, 2019
Mr Kamra, in a reply to the BSE, said it was "clearly a joke", and added that the "Sensex of humour is down by many points. PS- Do they have WiFi in jail?"
Eliciting more reactions, the tweet by Mr Kamra was disapproved by some who accused the comedian of spreading fake news.
You appeal the masses to vote against Modi, like every single day. Now, u did something illegitimate. When caught, you're calling it a joke! Now it's a joke! Was that placard-thing a joke too? Oh, so you just appeal to the masses to vote against someone as a JOKE!!! 1/2- Anusha Richa Mishra (@AnushaRicha) April 19, 2019
One such accuser, who said "my frnd his dad sold there equity thing (sic)," adding that "its clear now they r in shock and under heavy loss ur one clarification tweet won't bring there money back my friend dad is in hospital bcoz of this, shame on that loser", adding a hashtag #punishKamra.
Mr Kamra's countered his accuser, saying that after reading the tweet, he "laughed so hard that I choked and died, you're responsible for my death & no clarification will get me back to life. @MumbaiPolice please do needful..."
The matter didn't end there, as Mr Kamra in another tweet today, this time using a photo of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), said that while "a disclaimer is usually not required but looking at the lack of sense of humor around I think giving it is a good idea," the image he attached was not real.
"Also, don't vote for Modi," he said, sharing the photo which splashes his message.
The below image is not real. No the New York stock exchange is not doing this,- Kunal Kamra (@kunalkamra88) April 20, 2019
a disclaimer is usually not required but looking at the lack of sense of humor around I think giving it is a good idea. Also, don't vote for Modi. pic.twitter.com/jbvnsDiXQo
A number of Twitter users came out in support of Mr Kamra.
Actor Swara Bhasker, replying to the BSE in a tweet, said it "clearly says it's a joke and the image is not real! You do not have a case!"
Senior lawyer Karuna Nundy urged the BSE to "bring sense back into Sensex", adding that the tweet, "literally says the picture is morphed".
Dear BSE,- Karuna Nundy (@karunanundy) April 19, 2019
1. His tweet literally says the picture is morphed.
2. Mistake to try to be more loyal than the king when the monarchy may topple.
3. Do you really have nothing better to do than make random, purportedly legal threats to @kunalkamra88
Bring Sense back into Sensex. https://t.co/q05mcpFimp
Technology lawyer Mishi Choudhary, in a series of tweets, spoke about the Indian Copyright Act and Fair Dealing in the context of whether the BSE has copyright on the image and if it could take action against Mr Kamra.
Architectural works were not afforded legal protection or any form of copyright protection till the "Berne Convention" of 1908 was revised, after which it was included in the ambit of "literary and artistic" works protected at international level.- Mishi Choudhary (@MishiChoudhary) April 20, 2019
Here we are talking about a photograph of a building situated in a public space.- Mishi Choudhary (@MishiChoudhary) April 20, 2019
Section 52 of the Copyright Act deals with fair use and the clauses relevant to architectural work state this would not amount to infringement. Also we r talking about a photograph here.
Whose copyright is it anyway?- Mishi Choudhary (@MishiChoudhary) April 20, 2019
"Whose copyright is it anyway?" she said in one of the tweets. "That's why you will have a hard time suing me for taking a selfie in front of this building," she added in another.