Bollywood is known for brazenly borrowing 'inspiration' from Western films. However, a recent court ruling could change the scenario for good with a heavy compensation now having to be paid by the makers of an Indian film that copied content from a popular Hollywood film.
Last week, the Bombay High Court decreed in favour of the international production house 20th Century Fox against the producers of the 2010 release Knock Out, starring Sanjay Dutt, Irrfan and Kangna Ranaut. It had faced allegations of being an outright copy of Phone Booth starring Colin Farrell.
The case has finally arrived at a conclusion. "The first case was filed just before Knock Out was about to release. At that time, the court had passed an injunction against the release after watching both the films. On appeal, the producers were allowed to release the film, subject to them having deposited R 1.5 crore with the court," says an industry insider.
However, the matter was heard again in March this year and the court has decreed the case and awarded Rs 1.25 crore to Fox. "Furthermore, the producers of Phone Booth are not permitted to exploit their film in any manner whatsoever from March 5, 2013 onwards.
This is possibly a landmark judgment in the history of such litigation in India as it also constitutes the highest payment for copyright infringement in the country," adds the informer. While confirming the proceedings, lawyer Xerxes Ranina, who represented Fox, indicated that the facts of this case are a matter of public record now.