Ram Gopal Varma Fined:Delhi High Court SLAPPED Rs 10 Lakh fine on film maker Director Ram Gopal Varma and his production company for remake of blockbuster movie Sholay, which violated the copyrights of director Ramesh Sippy.The HC also said the filmmaker “distorted and mutilated the original work” .The judgement was delivered on a lawsuit filed by Sascha Sippy, son and grandson of original Sholay’s producers Vijay Sippy and G P Sippy. Sascha had alleged that the remake film, Ram Gopal Varma ke Sholay, was “violative of exclusive copyright held by the Sholay Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd.”
High Court Fined Rs 10 lakh fine on Ram Gopal Varma for remaking ‘Sholay’
According sources, Varma’s challenging film gave on overall impression that, it is remake of Amitabh Bacchan starrer movie Sholay, and the characters of movie Gabbar and Gabar Singh were misused along with music and background score.
Sascha Sippy, who is a son and grandsons of 1975 movie Sholay producers Vijay Sippy and G.P Sippy has filed a complaint against Ram Gopal Varma for allegedly remaking the movie Sholay which violates the exclusive copyrights of original film held by the Sholay Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
As per the complaint Delhi high court, has imposed Rs10 lakh fine as punitive damages on Varma, and his production houses M/S RGV Productions Pvt Ltd, Varma Corporation Ltd and Madhu Varma. The court controlled them from using the characters including Gabbar or Gabbar singh of original film.
The court order said that “The publicity material coupled with the impugned film, gives an overall impression that it is a remake of the film ‘Sholay’”.
The 1975 blockbuster Sholey an action and adventure film directed by Ramesh Sippy featured Bollywood Bigboss Amitabh Bachchan, Dharmendra, Sanjeev Kumar, Hema Malini, Jaya Bachchan and Amjad Khan among others.
On the relevant date, they were aware about the rights of the plaintiffs, their ownership and authorship as well as use of unauthorised copyright. It is not the case of the said defendants that the same is not created by the plaintiffs and they are not the owners and authors,” the order 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.”
HC said the producers and director of the remake film “are not able to assign any valid reason for the same and despite of statement made in the court for change of the name of the movie, when the same was released, still it appears that the defendants’ movie have similar name of the characters and they have used the lyrics and dialogues in material form in their movie.”