July 11, 2016     


India: Copyright Dispute between Kriti and Bob results in removal of both the films from YouTube


Controversy between Shirish Kunder's short film ‘Kriti’ and Nepalese filmmaker Aneel Neupane’s short film ‘Bob’, has resulted in the removal of both the films from YouTube. This removal is the outcome of the allegations of both the filmmakers, on each other, for infringement of their copyrights.



Source: Internet

The present controversy began with a Facebook post, by Aneel Neupane, on his Official page, stating that “I’m angry not because Mr. Shirish Kunder practically stole the plot and made it into his film. I’m angry because we didn’t even have lunch money while shooting 'Bob', and a spot boy for 'Kriti' probably made more money than Bob’s entire budget.


"My team and I didn’t work our asses off just so some rich dude from India could turn it into this and get away with it. That’s just not fair.[1]


In reply to Neupane’s post, Shirish Kunder tweeted “To those comparing 'Kriti' with some short film released on May 12, 2016.’Kriti' was shot in February, 2016. Hope this settles the matter.[2]


Aneel Neupane further contended that his film Bob was uploaded on Vimeo in October 2015, as a private video which can be shared with close friends.


In reply to Neupane’s allegation, Kunder further stated that, I am not their friend and have no means to access Bob.


The whole controversy result in removal of Kriti from YouTube. The reason of the said removal is highlighted as ‘This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Aneel Neupane’.



On June 27, 2016, Shirish Kunder served a legal notice to Aneel Neupane, seeking an unconditional written apology from him. In the said notice, he also demanded that, Neupane should refrain from making any oral or written comments on Kriti, take down Bob from the internet immediately and refrain from publishing the same or any part thereof on any other medium. The notice further alleged that, ‘it was perhaps him who came across a script of Kriti — which he had shared with "a few people" — and was then inspired to make Bob[3]’. “Assuming your position is correct that the two films are so similar, then it is you who has infringed our client's copyright[4], the notice reads.


The controversy further results in the removal of Bob from YouTube. The reason for removal reads as “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Abhayanand Singh (INDIE MOVIZ PTE LTD). Abhayanand Singh of the Singapore-based Indie Muviz Pte Ltd is the producer of Kriti. Although the movie is blocked from YouTube, it can still be viewed on Vimeo.



None of the parties have approached the Court for the settlement of the controversy, but the said controversy is not likely to be resolved by the parties on their own. It will really be interesting to observe further developments in the field.












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