In yet another twist to the copyright row that Shirish Kunder’s short film, Kriti, has been embroiled in, the psycho thriller was pulled down from YouTube yesterday. A message appears on the film’s link instead: ‘This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Aneel Neupane’. The Manoj Bajpayee, Radhika Apte and Neha Sharma-starrer, which has reportedly garnered over 2.5 million views so far, could not be viewed since the early hours of Wednesday.
Radhika Apte stars in the short film made by Shirish Kunder (below)
Due to legal implications, Kunder cannot make any statement. His advocate Rizwan Siddiquee, who is representing both Kunder and Muvizz.com, the producers of the film, states, “Kriti was pulled down due to the automated system of YouTube which reacts to copyright claims by any random person in the same way. It is a computerised response. It is, in no way, a reflection of the copyright judgment. We have already written to YouTube to restore Kriti at the earliest.”
Kunder’s film landed in a controversy after its launch on June 22 when Nepali filmmaker Aneel Neupane alleged that Kriti was a copy of his short film, BOB. He alleged that Kunder had stolen his concept and that the film’s situations and characters were identical to his. On Tuesday, Kunder sent Neupane a legal notice demanding an unconditional, written apology and asked him to refrain from making any oral or written comments on Kriti.
Siddiquee adds, “Aneel Neupane has already been served a legal notice. He now has to substantiate his allegations and prove the genuineness of his claims. Keeping in mind the viewers and considering the fact that my client’s film has been viewed almost three million times within a short span of six days, Kriti has been uploaded on Muvizz.com, Dailymotion, Vimeo and Facebook.”
Neupane had earlier posted on Facebook: “I’m angry not because Mr Shirish Kunder practically stole the plot and made it into his film. I’m angry because we didn’t even have lunch money while shooting BOB, and a spotboy for Kriti probably made more money than BOB’S entire budget. My team and I didn’t work just so some rich dude from India could turn it into this and get away with it. That’s just not fair (sic).”