Please tell us about yourself

I am pleased to bring to you our next guest interview with Ankit Relan. This interview is another step towards making IPRMENTLAW a neutral platform by offering representatives from different industries to put forth their point of view.

Technology lawyer Ankit Relan, associate partner at technology firm Mason & AssociatesAdvocates, which counts Google amongst its clients, has joined Facebook India in Gurgaon as lead counsel.

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The 2009 GGSIPU Delhi graduate had previously worked at MK Miglani, Fidus Law Chambers before joining Mason & Associates in 2011.

At Mason, he led the firm’s copyright and technology practice.

We have reached out to Facebook and Relan for comment but have not heard back.

According to a source with knowledge of his move, he will be working on music, copyrights and licensing-related legal work on all Facebook products, which include the main Facebook site, as well as WhatsApp, Instagram and others.

Ankit Relan, was a practicing attorney in the Delhi High Court, and represented some of the biggest names in the film and music industry in India. He handled the copyright and technology law practice at Mason & Associates, a top tier law firm that regularly advises the top companies in the film and music industry, media & technology sector, internet service providers, book publishing companies, pharmaceutical companies in India on a variety of issues.

What did you study?

Ankit has graduated in law from Delhi and has been working on Media & Entertainment Law matters for almost a decade now. He also has a PG Diploma in Intellectual Property Law from Indian Law Institute (ILI).

He has been a part of some of the industry defining litigations in India and has represented music companies before Parliamentary Committees for suggesting changes in the Copyright Act. A familiar name in the industry, Ankit is the go-to man for several top film and entertainment companies in India which includes music labels like T-series, with whom he has been associated for almost 7 years. He has been representing T-series in an ongoing litigation against Indian Singers Rights Association (ISRA) and feels that there is more to this association than meets the eye.

How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and fadcinating career?

First of all, thank you for this opportunity. I am usually quite awkward during interviews, but let me try this.

I am a musician turned lawyer specializing in Media & Entertainment Law and Technology based matters. I currently handle the copyright law practice at Mason & Associates, a top tier IP law firm, based in New Delhi.

Before joining the legal practice, I was a performing artist and used to perform at gigs, events and college fests in and around Delhi. Given the bent towards music and arts in general, I think the choice to become an IP lawyer was obvious, though the choice to become a lawyer itself and give up music wasn’t.

Tell us about your work

When I joined the legal profession, the majority of cases that I got to work on were mostly simple infringement cases. It was really the period around 2010-2012 that saw a sudden upsurge in the quality (and the complexity) of issues that arose in the copyright law, across various industries. This was also the time when I was introduced to people at some of the top film and music companies in India. Working on their matters, advising them on a daily basis helped me put the law into action and be a part of some industry defining litigations en route.

Over the last 9 years or so of my journey as a lawyer, I have worked closely with some of the brightest content creators in the country, negotiated some of the biggest content acquisition & licensing deals in India, argued infringement cases against media conglomerates who still think it’s okay to use someone’s copyrighted content without giving due credit for it.

It’s been fun. I continue to learn.