The Madras High Court today banned the release of Aamir Khan‘s Ghajini over a copyright infringement. This is bad news indeed for Aamir who was hoping to capitalise on the large Christmas market overseas by releasing the movie in over 20 countries simultaneously. Justice S P Shivakumar has asked the producers to inform everyone of his decision immediately to ensure the film is not released.
The producers of Ghajini were shocked on Monday morning to be summoned to court by KBC, a rival production company claiming that they had the rights to remake the Tamil original and that they had already produced a movie called Kahani Ghajini Ki with an Amitabh Bachchan lookalike in the lead. “This is such a blatant and crude method to stop our film’s release,” said Mashu Mantena, a producer of Ghajini, “It’s a rather sad misuse of the judiciary by people who have nothing better to do than harass others. Where do they get the time to indulge in such transparently-fraudulent efforts? I mean, who had ever heard of Kahani Ghajini Ki until now? At least, I hadn’t.”
Chandrasekharan, the producer of the Tamil original with Surya and Asin, claims that he had only sold the Chennai and Telugu rights to Geetha Arts and kept all additional rights with himself. He was shocked to hear that Geetha Arts was making a Hindi version. He claims he has been paid only 1.6 crores for the rights of a movie likely to hit around 140 crores in seat income alone worldwide.
Despite the court’s order, however, it is likely the movie will be released on time. The defendants are confident they can arrange for the stay to be removed today and anyway as Joginder Mahjan, a Delhi-based distributor, said: “The film’s prints have already been delivered to all theatres. It is now impractical to stop the release of the movie. All paid previews for the film have been sold and in fact the opening weekend bookings are houseful.”