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Ram Gopal Varma Is Slapped A Fine Of Rs. 10 Lacs For Making “Sholay”

Ram Gopal Varma Is Slapped A Fine Of Rs. 10 Lacs For Making “Sholay” RVCJ Media

Bollywood & TV

Ram Gopal Varma Is Slapped A Fine Of Rs. 10 Lacs For Making “Sholay”

Ram Gopal Varma as well as his production house are slapped a fine of INR 10 lacs on Monday by the high court of Delhi. And the reason for the same is RGV’s remaking Sholay which was a blockbuster movie in the year 1975 “intentionally and deliberately” which violates special copyright vested with Ramesh Sippy, director of the movie. According to HC, Ram Gopal Varma “distorted and mutilated the original work”.

It so happened that Sascha Sippy, son & grandson of producers of original Sholay named G P Sippy & Vijay Sippy, filed a lawsuit, alleging RGV’s movie, “Ram Gopal Varma ke Sholay” being “violative of exclusive copyright held by the Sholay Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd.”

High Court imposed this fine as “punitive damages” on RGV, M/S RGV Productions Pvt Ltd, Varma Corporation Ltd and Madhu Varma together with restraining from making use of Gabbar’s character from original Sholay.

In the words of Justice Manmohan Singh, “The publicity material coupled with the impugned film, gives an overall impression that it is a remake of the film Sholay. The use of similar plot and characters in the impugned film coupled with use of the underlying music, lyrics and background score and even dialogues from the original film Sholay amounts to infringement of copyright in the film Sholay.”

As per the order, “On the relevant date, they were aware about the rights of the plaintiffs, their ownership and authorship as well as use of unauthorised copyright. It is not the case of the said defendants that the same is not created by the plaintiffs and they are not the owners and authors.”

Although RGV’s movie was thought to be original Sholay’s adaptation, the maker made the movie without seeking permission which amounted to “passing off as the plaintiffs are the owner of the names of characters and dialogues.” The judge further added, “they are also guilty of infringement under Section 14(a) read with Section 55 of Copyright Act, 1957.”

In accordance with the court, the remake movie’s director & producers “are not able to assign any valid reason for the same and despite of statement made in the court for change of the name of the movie, when the same was released, still it appears that the defendants’ movie have similar name of the characters and they have used the lyrics and dialogues in material form in their movie.”

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