After two lawsuits over the Amitabh Bachchan movie, Johnny Mastana — one by Percept Picture Company and then by Twentieth Century Fox — UTV has been sued for the violation of copyright of the Filipino film Cavite — which allegedy ‘inspired’ the movie Aamir featuring Rajeev Khandelwal.
It is learnt that UTV recently received a notice for ‘copying’ Cavite without going through proper legal procedures. UTV, which has its presence in the west also, received the notice through an American film registration society. The makers of Cavite alleged that UTV had blatantly plagiarised their movie and should pay a penalty (of about Rs 75 lakh) for copyright violation.
It is believed that the makers of Cavite first sent a notice to writer-director Rajkumar Gupta, but he denied having written the script. “This, despite the fact that his name features in the credits. That’s when the team from the Philippines sent a legal notice to UTV, informing them about the lawsuit in the Delhi High Court. That’s also when Ronnie Screwwala, head of UTV, talked tough with Rajkumar Gupta, asserting that he should pay for his mistake,” our source says.
Gupta, it is believed, then contacted his mentor Anurag Kashyap who convinced Screwvala to negotiate matters with the producers of Cavite. The amount paid would be readjusted against Gupta’s remuneration for his next two movies with UTV.
Vikas Bahl, COO, UTV Spotboy under which Aamir was produced, declined to comment, saying he was in a meeting. Director Gupta stated, “Several stories have gone around ever since Aamir was released (June 6). No, it’s not inspired by Cavite. And I haven’t heard about this lawsuit news either.”