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Mason & Associates defends Raabta film vs SS Rajamouli Tollywood copyright suit

“Producer Allu Arvind of Geetha Arts on Thursday sought the injunction against the release of Sushant Singh Rajput starrer ‘Raabta’, which is slated to hit the screens on June 9, over copyright infringement. Arvind claims the story of ‘Raabta’ is very similar to his Telugu film ‘Magadheera’,” reported Zoom TV.

“’This is to inform to the large public that we, Geetha Arts the original makers of ‘Magadheeraa’ felt through various sources including the trailer and publicity material that the Hindi film ‘Raabta’ is being remade violating the copyrights,’ Arvind said in a statement,” Zoom’s report added.

Mason & Associates founding partner Neel Mason and litigation head Ankit Relan are defending Raabta producers Super Cassettes Industries and the company’s directors Bhushan Kumar and Kishan Kumar in the Andhra Pradesh high court. Magadheera was directed by SS Rajamouli – most famous for directing Hindi movie Bahubali and its sequel.

Advocate Rusheek Reddy KV is acting for Geetha Arts.

Ineffective caveats

We understand that notice of the suit had been served on the defendants yesterday evening, 6 days after they had filed caveats dated 24 May, which were to be notified by the court if the plaintiff filed a suit against them so that they could be heard before the court decides to grant relief. We understand that the defendants filed the caveats relying on news reports.

The suit was first reported by Gulte on the night of 24 May, the day before Geetha Arts appeared before the high court, asking for an urgent injunction on Raabta’s release without hearing the defendants.

On 25 May, the high court refused to grant the relief without hearing the defendants and ordered that the plaintiff serve notice of the suit on the defendant. The vacation bench judge stated in the order:

The present petition is filed seeking ad-interim injunction against the Respondents for the same relief in view of the urgency involved in the matter as the Hindi film is due to release on 09.06.2017

The learned counsel for the Petitioner submits that in case urgent notice is ordered the respondents may take a plea that the heavy amount has been spent for the release of the film and that the petition and suit is filed at belated stage etc etc.

Having heard the Petitioner this court may not permit such kind of pleas.

Relan had replied to Geetha’s legal notice on 17 May, denying its claim and stating that its notice “miserably fails to point out any specific instances of copyright infringement”, and that the alleged similarities mentioned by Geetha were only conjectures as Geetha “conveniently compared a 2 minutes 19 seconds long trailer” of Raabta to conclude that it was copied, without actually having seen the entire film.

Relan added in the notice that the law is settled on the point that a story, idea or plot is not copyright protected and that the storyline of two lovers being reborn and their love story being played out across different generations with a common villain, is merely an idea.

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