Court refuses to stay 'Independence Day' telecast on Star Movies

NEW DELHI: A Mysore court has refused to stay the re-telecast of 20th Century Fox film Independence Day on Star Movies.


The petitioner, NRI Film Production Associates Private Limited, had moved an injunction contending that pending the settlement of another case on copyright infringement involving the movie, it should not be aired on Star Movies throughout this month, as scheduled.

According to information available with, the principal district judge of Mysore court G V Hegde, in an order earlier this week stated that the court felt it was not necessary to grant an interim injunction for a short period.

Hegde, after listening to the arguments on the short-term injunction being sought by the plaintiff last week, had reserved his judgment.

In a case filed in a Mysore court, Veda Nayak of the NRI Film Production Associates has 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 in 1996.

Since Star Movies was scheduled to re-telecast the film of 8, 12, 17 and 25 November, Nayak had sought temporary relief from the court saying that the movie channel, also part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, should not be allowed to re-telecast the film.

However, the Mysore court made the following observations even as Star Movies has gone ahead and screened the movie on 8 and 12 November:

* The court did not grant the injunction sought for by the plaintiff during the remaining pendency of the suit, since the final orders on the permanent injunction of the suit will be made shortly. Therefore at this stage, the court felt that it was not necessary to grant an interim injunction for a short period.

* The court will pass final orders on the permanent injunction and other relief sought for in the suit on or before 26 November, 2003 - a time limit that has been fixed by the high court of Karnataka for conclusion of the suit.

The plaintiff, Nayak's company, has brought to the notice of 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 has 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 by Nayak and registered by him too in the US when residing there.

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

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