The High Court of Bombay on Monday heard a case of copyright infringement filed by a filmmaker. It refused the release of a film -' Zombivli' which was produced by Saregama India. The case of copyright infringement was filed against a retail company - Saregama by Tarun Wadhwa an amateur filmmaker.
In April 2018, Tarun Wadhwa claimed that he was working on a comedy script that dealt with zombies. Simultaneously, in May of 2018, he registered with Screen Writer's Association and Saregama its division -Yoodle Films. The firm repeatedly asked the plaintiff to submit his sample to the company, to which he responded in assertiveness. However, this one time, Saregama said that it had no interest in continuing the proposal. Subsequently, on July 30, 2020, Saregama announced the production of its upcoming film - Zombivli. Enraged Tarun reverted by claiming that the idea was formed by his creativity Tarun, in his application, submitted that he had the origin and authorship of the said film as it was his work. Nevertheless, Saregama had complete and continuous access to his work and there was sufficient proof to establish that Saregama was using his work.
The High Court after hearing both the parties differentiated between Copyright Infringement and Breach of Confidence. "Copyright is a right in Rem, whereas Confidence Obligation is right in Personam. Copyright has a defined term. Confidence does not. There is no copyright except as provided by the statute and infringement is also prescribed by the statute. A confidence obligation is in contract, equity or both. There are statutory defences to a copyright infringement action. However, these are not applicable to breach of confidence in action." the court noted.
With regards to the Breach of Confidence, the Court held that there is failure to present a clear and unambiguous identification of the original material other than the copyrighted material thus it fails to make up a case. "For a cause of action in breach of confidence to succeed there must be precision, there must be originality, and there must be completeness. All the required elements of confidentiality must be shown. It is not enough to show only some of them," the order stated.
As for the issue of Copyright Infringement, Justice Patel of the Bombay High Court stated that trivial similarity does not always imply copying or infringement. The High Court refused to grant an injunction on the release of the film.
Plaintiff -Tarun Wadhwa
Defendant - Saregama India LTD Citation
[ Interim Application (L)]- 4371 0F 2021
Date of Ruling - 20th of October 2021
Bench - Justice Gautam Patel
Counsel appearing for Tarun Wadhwa - Advocate Rahul Ajatshatru, Ankita Singh, and Krishma Shah.
Counsel Appearing for Saregama- Senior Advocate Virag Tulzapurkar and Advocate Hiren Kamod.
Tags : #high court, #courtsofindia, #Bombayhighcourt, #Zombivli, #Saregama #India, #Breachofconfidence, #copyright, #injunction #Judges