'Don 2' in legal trouble

Published: 12 November, 2011 07:36 IST | Mauli Singh and Hiren Kotwani |

Producers of the original 'Don' allege that the Farhan Akhtar directed sequel has infringed upon their original copyright

Producers of the original 'Don' allege that the Farhan Akhtar directed sequel has infringed upon their original copyright

With the SRK starrer Don 2 - The Chase Continues all set to release this Christmas, Nariman Films, the producers of the Amitabh Bachchan's 1978 hit, Don, aren't too pleased.

A still from SRK starrer Don

According to them, they had only given Excel Entertainment the right to remake their movie. And since the producers of the remake weren't given the rights to make a sequel, Nariman Films has sent them a legal notice and is suing them for copyright infringement.

The producers at Nariman Films say, "We have raised our objection through our advocates Digvijay Chopra and Iva Bansal."

Confirming that a legal notice has been sent to Excel Entertainment, Red Chillies Entertainment, Reliance Entertainment, Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani, Shah Rukh Khan and Baba Arts, Digvijay Chopra states, "The remake rights were given only for the film Don - The Chase Begins Again, starring Shah Rukh Khan, by an agreement, which expired in 2009. Thereafter, they never renewed it or even take any prospective rights from Nariman films."

While Baba Arts was not involved in the production, the advocates point out they had originally acquired the rights, which were then sold to Excel Entertainment for Rs 1.25 crore in 2005, with the knowledge of Nariman Films.

Further Iva Bansal explains that without any renewal of the remake rights, Excel Entertainment and Red Chillies Entertainment have gone ahead and made Don 2... "Not only have they infringed upon the title registered by Nariman Films, i.e. Don and Don 2 - Return Of The King, which in this matter, is a second infringement. The first infringement is Don 2, made without taking the necessary rights as per the law," she states.

Bansal also explains that the title Don 2 has been copyrighted in the name of Nariman Films in January 2005. "Reliance Entertainment has taken the distribution rights without any No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Nariman Films who hold the negatives of the original film Don. We shall also legally proceed with Paramount Films as we are informed that they are the overseas distributors," she maintained.

When asked why Nariman Films didn't initiate any action against the makers of Don 2 - The Chase Continues, before or during filming, the advocates elaborated, "The reason is because all the production houses and senior and influential members of the film industry made the partners of Nariman films believe by way of undue influence and fraud that they (Nariman Films) have sold all their rights for their original film Don and are in no position to proceed legally to vindicate their right for the Amitabh Bachchan starrer, and even sent a legal notice to Nariman Films to confirm the same."

However, Nariman Films has now come to know from various sources that the advocates they first consulted are  on the legal panel  of the opposite party.

Now the original producers have approached another law firm and have learnt that the case of infringement, undue influence and fraud, is clearly evident in this case. "And after learning the same they have taken legal action," summed up the advocates for Nariman Films.

Chopra and Bansal reiterated that they will be taking legal action against the makers of Don 2 - The Chase Continues at the High Court as well as criminal courts for necessary relief.

"We will be approaching the courts for stay on the release and promotions as well as confiscating all the Infringed Copies under the Copyright Act," said Chopra and Bansal. Ritesh Sidhwani of Excel Entertainment maintains, "Whatever we are doing is legal and their charges are false."

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