The court, while hearing a petition filed by writer Rakesh Bharti, said that no person can claim copyright on a story inspired by true events.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has cleared the decks for the release of the Deepika Padukone-starrer, Chhapaak. The court, while hearing a petition filed by writer Rakesh Bharti, said that no person can claim copyright on a story inspired by true events.
Justice S.C. Gupte was hearing the petition filed by Mr Bharti, claiming that he was the original writer of the story on the life of the acid attack survivor on which the film is based. Mr Bharti in his suit sought a stay on the January 10, 2020 release of the film until such time his name was included in the credits as one of the creative writers.
Mr Bharti claimed that he had conceived the idea/script for the film, tentatively titled “Black Day”, and gotten it registered with the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) in February 2015. Chhapaak is based on the life of acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal.
The bench observed, “This is a real life event. When the source of the story is common, then no one can claim copyright. Just because someone has or is writing a story on a real life event or incident does not mean nobody else can.”
“You (Mr Bharti) are claiming monopoly on a real life incident. It is impossible to grant copyright on such stories,” it said. Mr Bharti’s counsels Girish Godbole and Ash-ok Sarogi then told the court that as of Wedn-esday, January 8, 2020, they were not seeking interim relief by way of stay on the film’s release.
The lawyers said that they would keep the arguments on copyright infringement open and compare the scripts once “Chhapaak” was released. The HC accepted the statement and posted the suit for further hearing after six weeks.