Copyright battles have been rarely fought in India as the industry has been very kind to makers wishing to use old song lines as film titles, however the latest issue in B’Town arises from a dialogue being turned into a film title.
Take a trip down memory lane and revisit Pritish Nandy Communications’ Jhankaar Beats directed by Sujoy Gosh (director of upcoming film Aladin) and recall a particular scene with Rahul Bose and Sanjay Suri where the phrase ‘Chance Pe Dance’ was used. At the time the line was nothing special, well maybe hilarious given the context, but now everyone seems to be drawn to this one line from the film thanks to Ken Ghosh. (No relation to Sujoy Ghosh)
The Ishq Vishk director is soon to release his 3rd film with Shahid Kapoor (the duo have worked together also in Fida) and after a lot of struggle he’s titled the film Chance Pe Dance. Mr Ghosh went through quite a lot of trouble thinking up a suitable title and various titles circulated in the media and when he finally settled on the current title he had to battle it out with other makers who’d earlier registered the title. At last he thought things were settled and first looks were released, however seems the battle is not yet won as now Pritish Nandy is calling this an utter violation of copyright laws and a title that can be easily changed if attempted.
Whilst the producer of Jhankaar Beats is quite serious regarding the matter director Sujoy Ghosh is taking it all very lightly. Speaking to Mid-Day the director said that Ken’s use of a dialogue from his film is in fact a flattering gesture. He also went onto say that this isn’t the first time his film Jhankaar Beats has been an inspiration to other makers. Abhishek Kapoor’s critically acclaimed and box office hit Rock On was very similar to Jhankaar Beats with scenes even being repeated, however instead of battling it out the director really enjoyed Rock On and took no action despite the obvious resemblances he could pick out. He ended by saying that in his eyes it’s as if the title of Ken’s film is paying homage to Jhankaar Beats. One may recall that Jhankaar Beats was also a tale of a struggling band, not a rock band though, and the stories of their lives together and separate from music.
Ken Ghosh luckily was available to the media for comment and spoke to Mid-Day stating that no, he was not ignorant to his surroundings and knew that the title was a dialogue from Sujoy’s film. However, he added that as a dialogue its much similar to the common Hindi phrase Mauke Pe Chauka.
Well, only time will tell if Pritish Nandy Communications takes this one to the courts and battles it out legally or maybe a simple mediation may just do the trick. Even with the director not having a problem with it, the legal rights lie with the producers. So, at the end of the day it’s Pritish Nandy’s decision, which will decide whether Ken Ghosh needs to continue on his journey of finding an appropriate title.