Television

No claim on concept copyright, HC denies relief to Zee in case against Sony

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has not granted relief to Zee Entertainment Enterprises, and dismissed the notice of motion in a commercial suit filed against Sony Pictures, alleging copyright infringement.

Advocate Ravi Kadam represented Zee, whereas advocate VV Tulzapurkar represented defendant Sony and advocate Janak Dwarkadas appeared for defendant Frames Production.

Zee had claimed that Sony Pictures Networks India had illegally copied its popular show India’s Best Dramebaaz, a talent hunt programme for child actors. Zee said Sony had infringed its copyright in its ““production bible” and concept note”. The said bible is a document that explains most aspects of production.

After hearing both parties, Justice GS Patel read out the order. Justice Patel stated, “What Zee needs to be able to show is that there is something in its production bible, concept note or in its show that is utterly and identifiably original and that this has been copied by Sony. Zee must specify what precisely it claims to monopolize.”

Zee had claimed that Frames had told Zee that it will not be pursuing this idea further. However, when in January 2017, Zee wanted to launch Season 3 of 'Dramebaaz,' Frames said they had “sold” the concept to Sony.

Zee then complained to SPNI. Sony submitted before the court that it is, in fact, developing 'Sabse Bada Kalakar', a kids talent hunt programme for which it had its own production bible and concept note.

Justice Patel finally said: “In my view, the manner in which the selections are made and the trajectories of the two shows are quite distinct. The fact that both feature children, the fact that both seek out children with acting talent, the fact that both seek out children with acting talent, the fact that they seek out children with acting talent from different cities, and the fact that they seek out the best of these is hardly something in which anyone can claim any copyright.”

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