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Startup Sued By Shark Tank India, Founder: “Kaise Banega Naya India?”

Dorje Teas sold 15% of its equity shares to Sharks Anupam Mittal and Peyush Bansal in Season 2. But now the tea brand has received a copyright claim from Shark Tank India for using its clips from the episode.

By Rashaad Ather
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Dorje Tea founder Sparsh Agarwal released a video on Linkedin sharing the news.

“Iss tarah se kaise banega Naya India?”: Sparsh questioned Shark Tank India makers.

He also displayed a screenshot of a copyright strike e-mail he received.

"We woke up to a number of legal claims made by the Sony Pictures Networks India team sending us copyright violation notice for using clips from our own pitch on YouTube and Meta ads", Sparsh wrote on Linkedin.

He added other startups are sharing the same predicament.

"And we're not the only ones— they've cracked down on each and every startup that appeared on Shark Tank": Sparsh added.

He questions why the show-makers don't want free publicity from startup owners who post their footage online to boost viewership.

"While I understand the copyright laws supporting it, I don't understand why they would do this. After all, Dorje Teas and other companies like Skippi, Assembly, Perfora, Hoovu Fresh, Beyond Snack, Wakao Foods, Nasher Miles, and so many others are spending lacs every month to boost Shark Tank content, thereby giving free publicity and brand recall to the SHARK TANK INDIA brand! This seems like such a bad business decision made by some executive/legal person within Sony, to me. It also goes against the entire ethos of promoting small startups'' Sparsh questioned.

However, Sparsh intends to continue his "hustling".

Users on Linkedin resonated with Sparsh except for a few:

One user wrote: "Mr. Sparsh Agarwal, I absolutely 💯 agree with you. Through their platform, one of their sharks attained huge popularity from the word "Doglapan". Later, he made it a trademark. Published the book 📖 with that title. "

Another user wrote: "This issue seems so complicated and frustrating! I hope brands like yours don't face a severe backlash. As a founder, I can imagine how disheartening it must be for such hard work to just vanish."

While one dissenter wrote: "you are spending lakhs to push Shark tank, Shark tank is spending crores to organise & promote the show in which your brand gets promoted. Just change the perspective."