Shark Tank India’s season 3 has been quite interesting, but more than anything there has been an increase in startups who are pitching at the show to take to social media and share their experience.

Some have had good ones, but there have also been several who were not happy with how the channel handled their pitch, the behaviour of the judges, and more.

Recently, a tea company called ‘Dorje Teas’ appeared on the second season of the show and posted about how Shark Tank India sent them a legal notice for using clips from their own pitch on the company’s social media pages.

The startup had secured a deal from Anupam Mittal, Vineeta Singh, and Peyush Bansal of Rs. 30 lakh of investment for 15% equity and brought their company value to Rs. 2 crore.

What Happened Between Shark Tank India And Startup?

Sparsh Agarwal, Dorje Teas’ co-founder wrote on LinkedIn a few days ago talking about how they’d been sent a legal notice by Shark Tank India the show and Sony Pictures Networks India.

He wrote, “Day 10 of our Fundraise Challenge: Shark Tank India has sent us a legal notice! We woke up to several 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”.

He further added how they’re not the only ones and that “they’ve (Shark Tank India) cracked down on each and every startup that appeared on Shark Tank.”

He also argued that while he understood the laws surrounding the copyright of such content it kind of went against what the show actually stands for.

Agarwal stated “While I understand the copyright laws supporting it, I don’t understand why they would do this. After all at 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!”

He concluded by saying “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.”

Read More: “Edited Out By Sony,” Shark Tank India 3 Pitcher Calls Out Namita Thapar

Sparsh Agarwal speaking with Times Now also said, “I don’t even have access to my contract. Shark Tank India is a big brand that is known for promoting start-up systems. It would be great if they could live up to their promise and take back their copyright claims”.

Also, Dorje Teas is not the only one who has gone through this with another startup, a luxury brassware brand called P-TAL having appeared on Shark Tank India also being given the same notice.

Kirti Goel, one of the co-founders with Aditya Agarwal and Gaurav Garg, said, “Yes, we also received a legal notice. In fact, our account was also suspended for around 15 days over copyright issues. We had used the videos from Shark Tank India on our page after which this happened. After 15 days, our account was recovered but all the posts about the show were removed.”

Goel did add however that, “This was written in my contract though so they had the right to do it. The contract clearly mentions we can’t use the videos from the show on our page”.

Some people also explained why Sony might be doing what it is doing with one content strategist commenting, “Dear Sparsh, it’s crucial to understand that in this context, ‘You are the content.’ Your role in content creation is significant. You shared the content that features you on your social media (YT/FB/Insta and likewise) but not on Sony’s social handles. In a way, the traffic they should have received would have been diverted to you. You are monetising your social channels with the content they produce”.

They further added, “In the content business, the first to share the sneak preview gets more eyeballs. In addition, you may have signed a waiver form that states you give them rights in perpetuity for this content shot by them. Check your contract or see if you remember signing any digital form on the shooting sets that states this”.

Another user 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”.

A LinkedIn user Rohit Saboo also commented “I can just resonate with your feeling on this. While handling music IPs, I can relate to this completely. You pour your heart and soul into creating your magical pitch (content), only to find out you can’t even use it yourself in your way.

But let’s peek behind the curtain of Sony Pictures Networks India’s playbook. For them, it’s all about the dollars and inventory like any other business house – or in this case, the “content”. Their entire empire thrives on the magic of storytelling, and your videos just happen to be their latest treasure trove. They’re not in it for the startup buzz or to champion the entrepreneurial spirit of India – They are least bothered.

Their game plan is simple – craft a content goldmine that strikes a chord with Indian audiences like small Bollywood blockbusters, complete with rags to riches tales, drama hotter than Kolkata summers, and enough spice to make your taste buds tingle.

So, when you sign that dotted line, you’re essentially handing over the keys to your video (content piece). They’re not just videos; they’re IPs for Sony now. It’s sad and hard to witness, but cheers to the world of IPs!”

Image Credits: Google Images

Feature image designed by Saudamini Seth

Sources: The Indian Express, Zee Business, Times Now

Find the blogger: @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Shark Tank India, Shark Tank India season 3, Shark Tank India judges, Shark Tank India sony, Shark Tank India legal notice, Shark Tank India controversy, dorje teas, dorje teas Shark Tank India, dorje teas legal notice, dorje teas founder, startups india, startups in india, legal notice, shark tank india pitchers

Disclaimer: We do not hold any right, or copyright over any of the images used, these have been taken from Google. In case of credits or removal, the owner may kindly mail us.

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