Noted filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma can’t be resting!
The Delhi High Court on Monday slapped Rs 10 lakh fine on Varma and his production house for “intentionally and deliberately” coming out with the remake of 1975 blockbuster Sholay, violating the exclusive copyright vested with its director Ramesh Sippy.
The judgment was delivered on a lawsuit filed by Sascha Sippy, son and grandson of original Sholay’s producers Vijay Sippy and GP Sippy, in which he had alleged that the remake film was violative of exclusive copyright held by the Sholay Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
The High Court imposed a fine of Rs 10 Lakh as “punitive damages” on Varma, his production house M/S RGV Productions Pvt Ltd as well as Varma Corporation Ltd and Madhu Varma and restrained them from using any character like Gabbar or Gabbar Singh in the original film.
The High Court said that Varma and others “in the present case have intentionally and deliberately brought the movie in violation of plaintiffs’ exclusive moral rights of copyright and passing off.” It held that Varma’s film gave an overall impression that it was a remake of Sholay, the blockbuster featuring Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini and Amjad Khan.
“The publicity material, coupled with the impugned film, gives an overall impression that it is a remake of the film Sholay. The use of similar plot and characters in the impugned film coupled with use of the underlying music, lyrics and background score and even dialogues from the original film Sholay amounts to infringement of copyright in the film Sholay,” Justice Manmohan Singh said.
It also held that even if Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag is considered as an adaptation of the original, it was without authorisation of the copyright owner, amounting to “passing off as the plaintiffs are the owner of the names of characters and dialogues”. Such use by Varma and others was unauthorised and it was their deliberate act “in order to gain profits”, the judge said, adding that “they are also guilty of infringement under Section 14(a) read with Section 55 of Copyright Act, 1957.”
— Bhawana Somaaya (@bhawanasomaaya) September 1, 2015
— Shandiponi Dey (@shandiponidey) September 1, 2015
Well, well, well…isn’t 10 lakh too less a price for the torture we went through!