Launched in 2008, JA Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. (JA) is a media production company owned by actor John Abraham which has produced films like, ‘Vicky Donor’, ‘Madras Café’, ‘Parmanu’, and ‘Batla House’.
 
 
Around May 2020, JA Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. executed an Assignment Agreement with Gold Coin Motion Picture Company, for obtaining the Hindi remake rights in respect of a Malayalam-language film “Ayyappanum Koshiyum” (‘Malayalam film’) which was considered a commercial success in the South-Indian film industry and commenced with its pre-production in July 2020 soon-after.
 
 
Meanwhile, M/s Sithara Entertainments (Sithara), another film production company primarily involved in making South Indian films produced and released the Telugu remake of the Malayalam Film, titled ‘Bheemla Nayak’ (hereinafter referred to as ‘Telugu remake’) in March 2022 on YouTube wherein it was suggested that a Hindi-dubbed version of the Telugu remake would also be released by this company in theatres soon.
 
 
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JA filed a commercial suit was in the Delhi High Court against Sithara. JA contended that in light of the right to remake the Malayalam film in Hindi language vests exclusively with JA owing to the assignment of the right by the producer of the original Malayalam film. JA also contended that any unauthorized attempt by Sithara infringed upon the copyright and commercial rights of JA.
 
 
JA further contended that unless restricted by any conditions imposed by the parties themselves, the owner of the copyright in a cinematographic work, inter alia, had a right to subtitle and dub its work. JA submitted that, nature of rights within the deed of Assignment granted by Gold Coin Motion Picture Company in favour of Sithara was only restricted to remaking and dubbing of the original Malayalam film in Telugu language alone, hence, the copyright vested in favour of Sithara was restricted to only Telugu language.
 
 
JA supported this contention by referring to the precedent in the Madras High Court Division Bench case of Thiagarajan Kumararaja v. Capital Film Works (India) Pvt. Ltd. & Anr.
 
 
The Hon’ble Delhi High Court, after considering all the contentions and submissions observed that the pre-requisites for a grant of an injunction were successfully satisfied by JA.
 
 
Accordingly, till next date of the hearing, Sithara has been restrained from producing, exhibiting or communicating to the public, the Hindi-dubbed version of the Telugu film titled ‘Bheemla Nayak’ or any part thereof, in any manner. The matter is listed on 11th July 2022 before the Registrar and on 1st August 2022 before the Delhi High Court.

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