Vidhu Vinod Chopra, producer of the Aamir Khan starrer 3 Idiots, has sent a legal notice to Biswaroop Roy Chowdhury, the director of 4th Idiot, an animated film inspired by the superhit movie.
Chowdhury is the producer and director of the film, which is to be released tomorrow.
"Yes, we have received the notice. We are planning to reply by Monday. We have not violated any copyright law. We are in a safe zone. I think it is a case of misunderstanding," said Chowdhury.
He says the movie has not borrowed from Chopra's film but merely took an "inspiration" from it.
"Everything is inspired by something we don't invent things out of vacuum and that is the case with my film but the plotline is completely different from 3 Idiots," said the director.
The story revolves around a boy named Pappu, who, by using the techniques taught by Aamir's character in 3 Idiots, achieves otherwise unachievable goals.
The movie also has the character of Phunsuk Wangdu (played by Aamir in 3 Idiots) as the principal of a school.
Chopra had come across a news report regarding the film and has now sent a notice to Chowdhury, writing, "It is clear that you (and your movie) have infringed and violated our exclusive rights.. You have further, referred to the names of one of the principal characters of our movie 'Rancchoddas Chanchad', 'Phunsuk Wangdu' and 'Chatur Ramamlingam'.
"Thereby you also have used the name of our movie, its story (including scenario, screenplay, dialogues etc.) characters for publicizing and promoting your movie."
The producer has also expressed his surprise that Chowdhury did not take any kind of permission before making the film.
"It has indeed been surprising that you have not taken any permission from us at any time and have voluntarily infringed our rights for commercial gain and benefit," the letter further states.
Chopra has now asked Chodhury to desist from advertising, promoting and/or publicizing 4th Idiot using the name of 3 Idiots, its story, its characters in any form/manner through any form of media.
Interestingly, Chopra and author Chetan Bhagat were at loggerheads during the release of 3 Idiots with Bhagat blaming the producer of not giving him due credit. The movie is loosely adapted by Bhagat's book Five Point Someone.