Rangoon copyright row: Judge to pronounce ruling in plagiarism case against Vishal Bhardwaj

A judge will pronounce his ruling on the copyright case against Rangoon, filed by Wadia Movietone, makers of the 1935 film Hunterwali

FP Staff February 23, 2017 11:12:00 IST
Rangoon copyright row: Judge to pronounce ruling in plagiarism case against Vishal Bhardwaj

The team of Rangoon is certain to be on tenterhooks at this moment as a judge is expected to pronounce a ruling in the copyright infringement case filed against the Kangana Ranaut-Saif Ali Khan-Shahid Kapoor starrer on Thursday morning, 23 February.

Rangoon copyright row Judge to pronounce ruling in plagiarism case against Vishal Bhardwaj

Kangana Ranaut, Shahid Kapoor in a still from Rangoon

Wadia Movietone had filed a case against the makers of Rangoon, alleging that the character of Kangana Ranaut in the film — Jaanbaaz Julia — was directly copied from the leading lady of their 1935 film Hunterwali, the stuntwoman Fearless Nadia.

Read on Firstpost: Rangoon in copyright row; 19 scenes, Kangana's look allegedly copied from 1935's Hunterwali

Moreover, they stated that 19 scenes as seen in the trailer bore a resemblance to scenes from Hunterwali, further adding that Wadia Movietone had been in talks with Rangoon director Vishal Bhardwaj and the studio UTV around 2006 for a film based on Fearless Nadia.

Wadia Movietone's CEO Roy Wadia sought a stay on Rangoon's release, which is scheduled to be in theatres this Friday (24 February).

However, advocates arguing for Vishal Bhardwaj and the Rangoon team said that no copyright infringement had occurred.

Bhardwaj contended that Fearless Nadia was not a fictional character like James Bond. Nadia was a screen name adopted by the actress Mary Evans when she entered films, with the 'fearless' moniker being added later, thanks to her penchant for performing her own stunts.

Lawyers for the Rangoon team compared 'Fearless Nadia' to the 'Dream Girl' title enjoyed by Hema Malini in her heyday, stating that no one could claim to have a copyright over a moniker. They also said that since she was active in films during the pre-Independence era, Nadia was a historical figure and there couldn't be a copyright around such a personality.

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