Delhi High Court lifts stay order on Hindi dub of film

Delhi High Court lifts stay order on Hindi dub of Bhimla Nayak
Delhi HC lifts stay order on Hindi dub of Telugu film Bhimla Nayak (Photo Credits – Poster from Bhimla Nayak)

The Delhi High Court has vacated an earlier stay order on the Hindi-dubbed version of the Telugu film ‘Bheemala Nayak’, a remake of the Malayalam original version “Ayyappanam Koshiyum”.

The present suit has been filed by the plaintiff (JA Entertainment), seeking a permanent injunction restraining the defendant (Sithara Entertainment and others), alleging that it was the remake and dubbing rights of the film in Hindi language. infringes the copyright of the plaintiff in respect of. The plaintiffs sought a stay on the dubbing of the Telugu film “Bhimla Nayak” in Hindi as they have the rights to the Hindi remake Malayalam Original.

“..a copyright owner has the right to dub a Telugu film in any language including Hindi and the plaintiff cannot claim any right to restrain the respondent No. 1 from dubbing the Telugu film in Hindi..” Justice Jyoti Singh said in the recently passed order.

According to the petition, the creative team of the plaintiff got a Malayalam film ‘Ayyappanam Koshiyum’ – which was released on February 7, 2020, and was a huge commercial success. Vaadi decided to remake the film in Hindi language and being a commercially lucrative venture, Vaadi approached the producer and obtained the Hindi remake rights in the Malayalam film.

As per the agreement, the plaintiffs were entrusted with exclusive, permanent and irrevocable ‘remake and dubbing’ rights to be used in all modes, mediums and formats. The rights assigned to the extent relevant to the present case include: (a) the sole right to make a new cinematograph film based on a Malayalam film in the Hindi language; (b) the right to dub a Malayalam film as well as a Hindi remake in any or all of the languages; and (c) the right to subtitles in any language for any purpose through any media. Around July, 2020, the plaintiff began pre-production of the Hindi remake as per the rights granted under the agreement dated May 13, 2020.

Meanwhile, the respondent submitted that he has acquired the copyright in the story and has the right to re-make and dub the Malayalam film. telugu and subtitle rights in all Indian and world languages ​​without any geographical restrictions as well as exploit them worldwide in all formats and media. Thus the assignment included the right to exploit the remake Telugu film in all formats including dubbing in all other languages.

After the arguments of both the sides, the Single-Judge Bench also observed, “… In my prima facie view, the Respondents are correct in their contention that the test of infringement in the present case does not amount to the degree of similarity dubbed in the Telugu film. Hindi and Malayalam film has been dubbed in Hindi, but the test is whether the Telugu film being dubbed in Hindi infringes any exclusive right of the plaintiff to make it accessible to the public, which is not the case here.

While the Malayalam original – Ayyappanum Koshiyum was written and directed by Sachy, it starred Prithviraj and Biju Menon in lead roles. The Telugu version Bheemla Nayak – directed by Saagar K Chandra, starred Pawan Kalyan, Rana Daggubati, Nithya Menen and Samyuktha Menon.

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