YouTube launches in India

Parent Google awaits copyright hearing in Indian court

NEW DELHI -- NEW DELHI -- YouTube India launched Wednesday with a localized homepage ( featuring user-generated videos and content from existing Bollywood and broadcaster partners such as Eros Entertainment and New Delhi Television.

London/Mumbai-based Eros has a catalog of over 1,500 films and inked a partnership with YouTube last May to launch a dedicated partner channel featuring film song clips, among other content.

YouTube India content partners also include Bollywood's Rajshri Films, broadcasters Zoom TV and India TV, and two record labels, Mumbai-based PhatPhish Records and classical label Music Today. Music videos of some artists from both labels have been included.

Other alliances include cricket portal, the International Indian Film Academy Awards, the Ministry of Tourism and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi.

The India launch comes in the wake of earlier legal troubles the Google-owned online video site encountered in India. In February, one of India’s leading Bollywood music labels and film production companies, Mumbai-based T-Series, owned by Super Cassettes Industries Ltd, served a legal notice to YouTube parent Google India, headquartered in the southern city of Hyderabad, for alleged copyright infringement.

The notice alleged YouTube was carrying videos of songs and even complete films from Super Cassette's catalog, including recent hits such as "Don" and "Jaan-E-Man" (Beloved).

“Our legal case against Google is still in court with the next hearing slated for July,” said Vinod Bhanushali, T-Series marketing vice president.

Google India did not comment on the case by press time, or confirm if any content had been removed.