HC paves way for release of ‘Betaal’ on Netflix

A still from ‘Betaal’

A still from ‘Betaal’  

A scripwriter had claimed that the projections made by the producers of ‘Betaal’ had infringed on his copyright, and was plagiarised from his fictional story

Betaal, a horror series produced by actor Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies Entertainment and Netflix Entertainment Services, will face no legal obstruction for its worldwide release after a single bench of the Bombay high court refused to interfere in the release of the web series in a recent order. The web series was scheduled to be released on May 24.

A script writer Sameer Wadekar had moved the high court praying for an injunction against the production houses claiming that of the many stories he had penned and registered with the copyright office and with the Screen Writers Association, ‘Vetaal’ was penned by him in 2013-14 and registered in 2015.

Wadekar claimed that on May 7 he received a YouTube video from a friend which showed the promotional video of the web series Betaal, and the 146 seconds video had at least 13 similarities to his work titled ‘Vetaal’.

Wadekar claimed that the projections made by the producers of Betaal had infringed on his copyright and was plagiarised from his fictional story which he had originally created with his own imagination including the characters, locations, props among other things.

But Wadekar’s claims did not impress the single bench of Justice KR Shriram who noted that he did not get convincing answers on how an original story created by Wadekar landed in the hands of the writer who wrote Betaal.

The judge also noted that the claim came very late as Netflix in July 2019 had declared of it coming out with a web series titled Betaal, and several print and online publication had published stories to that effect.

The judge also noted that the concept of Betaal originates from the mythological story of Vikramaditya and the witty ghost Betaal. But the court allowed Wadekar to amend his plea to include to claim damages against Betaal producers.

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 5:16:30 AM |

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