Court gives 'Independence Day' screening a clean chit

NEW DELHI: After lengthy hearings, spanning months, a Mysore court has dismissed a suit for permanent injunction against 20th Century Fox movie, Independence Day. 

At one time, even Star Movies through Star was made a party to this case.

Admitting that the court dismissed the case against the top grosser - Independence Day on 20 December, petitioner Veda Nayak of NRI Film Production Associates told that he did go in for an appeal against the district court stand.

"The principal district judge, G V Hegde, dismissed our suit for a permanent injunction against the film Independence Day. We will be appealing this decision in January 2004, as soon as the high court reopens after the Christmas vacation, since we have strong grounds for doing so," Nayak said.

Earlier, the same court had refused to stay the re-telecast of Independence Day on Star Movies. The petitioner had moved an injunction contending that as the settlement of another case on copyright infringement involving the movie is pending, it should not be aired on Star Movies.

In a case filed in a Mysore court, NRI Film Production Associates had alleged that 20th Century Fox Film Corporation (News Corp's movies arm) infringed on the copyright of a script written by him, called Extra Terrestrial Mission, by producing and releasing the film Independence Day way back in 1996.

The plaintiff, Nayak's company, had contended in the court that the defendants, according to information available on the Internet, have already made over $800 million from the film throughout the world thus far, whereas the production cost of the film was only $75 million.

Nayak’s counsel had argued that the defendants could not have made such huge profits but for the important dramatic events and incidents, they had copied in Independence Day from Extra Terrestrial Mission, written and registered by Nayak in the US, while he was residing there.

The copyright infringement suit has been keenly contested between the parties since November 1998 in US courts as well.

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