When my wife and two sons insisted that we should watch the latest Tamil block buster ‘Deivathirumagal’, I could not turn down because watching movies has been one of the quality times that I spend with my family. It was a pleasant experience as the movie was crafted so well. The affection between the altruistic (mentally challenged) father and his little daughter was an exhilarating experience. The final moments of the movie was a real melodrama and brought tears. The movie touched my heart and the impact was there for few days. Even in Face book I strongly suggested to my friends to watch this movie.
Alas! My happiness was short lived till I watched the movie ‘I am Sam’. I was quite shocked and spell bound, as the story of the movie Deivathirumgal had been adopted from the original version ‘I am Sam’. Some of the best scenes were simply lifted from the English movie. Even the hero Vikram’s hair style was simply copied from that of Sean Penn, the hero of ‘I am Sam’. The hero in Tamil version works in a chocolate factory arranging chocolates while in the original, Sean Penn rearranges sugar sachets at star bucks. Be it the birthday party for the little girl or the story telling sessions in bed or be it the confrontation with the lawyer everything has been simply copied from the original. The unquestionable truth is that the Tamil version is nothing but a poor copy of the original. I was terribly shaken and upset that we were deceived by director Vijay and actor Vikram. What pained more was the failure to acknowledge the original.
The irony was some friends were of the fervent hope that Vikram would even bag the best actor award for the movie. What a shame to be, if it happens. How many would know that Sean Penn had won the nomination for best actor for Oscar award!
It makes us wonder how someone can get away with such plagiarisms at a time when everyone can access every other thing in the world, that too in no time. It is possible thanks to the Internet and satellite channels.
What is happening in our country for the protection of Intellectual Property Rights? How can we get away from such serious crimes when the IPR laws are becoming more stringent in the world? This issue is not related only to the film Industry. It happens everywhere. The other industry where it is quite common is book industry.
Today the knowledge on Intellectual Property Rights is exceptionally high amongst the developed nations. The technological progress in Communication and Internet has helped the creator to know about the infringements taking place elsewhere. Before the Uruguay round (1986-1994) of WTO (World Trade Organisation), things were different. There were gross violations everywhere. Things have changed after the WTO came into effect. The consequence of Uruguay round was the famous TRIPS (Trade Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights). The nations have awakened on their citizen’s Intellectual Property Rights and want to protect the same. This is mainly because of the fact that copyright violation has had a serious dent on nations’ economy. As per TRIPS all member nations have to bring in the necessary enforcement mechanisms within their country in a given time frame. That is every nation has to make their laws stricter and stringent to take actions against the copyright violators. If by any chance a country fails to take necessary actions against their countrymen for such violations, the countries would have to face sever action in the form of economic sanction by other member nations.
In spite of the strict International laws, how the Indian film industry or the book industry gets away from such infringement of copyright violations?
Wait for future posts on this with more intriguing case studies not only in the film industry but also in the book industry.