SRK's in copyright row

MUMBAI: Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan‘s upcoming superhero film has landed in the court. The Bombay High Court has observed that prima facie there had been a copyright violation, while reserving the final verdict for later date.

The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi directed the defendants (Sharukh Khan, his production house Red Chillies Entertainment and Eros Entertainment) to deposit Rs 10 million with the court before releasing the movie.

"The defendants are directed to deposit a sum of Rs 10 million as pay-order to the court and then release the movie," PTI reported, quoting the bench.

The court was hearing the petition filed by Beyond Dreams CEO Yash Patnaik, who said that he is the original copyright owner of the concept and the content of RA.One‘, produced by SRK‘s Red Chillies Entertainment.

The court ordered that if the defendants failed to deposit the money, an injunction against the movie‘s release would become operational.

"It is the most unfortunate part of the film industry that people use others‘ concepts and then don‘t want to pay or give them credit," the bench remarked.

The court has kept the final decision on the issue of copyright violation pending, and would hear arguments in due course of time.

The movie is to release on 26 October and stars Khan, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal.

Patnaik had sought a stay to the film‘s release until he was given credit for the concept or 10 per cent of the profits, in case he was not given the credit.

Patnaik‘s lawyer, senior advocate Ravi Kadam, said that the superhero character resembled the one in Patnaik‘s concept of 2006, in ‘attributes and appearance‘.

"The super-villain of Patnaik‘s script was called ‘One‘, which has been used by SRK in the movie‘s title," Kadam said.

Meanwhile, SRK‘s lawyer, senior advocate Virendra Tulzapurkar, said that his client‘s script was completely different. Also, "Patnaik cannot claim copyright as he had developed his concept with a team of experts he had engaged," Tulzapurkar argued.

Meanwhile, Eros Entertainment‘s lawyer, senior advocate Janak Dwarkadas, argued that the company has acquired world distribution rights at Rs 1.50 billion and has already started transporting prints to theatres, so no stay should be granted at the last moment.

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