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No Copyright In Idea Or Story Line, Except Tangible Expression Thereof

The Subject Matter Suit:
The Subject Matter Suit was filed by the Plaintiff against the Defendant on the ground inter alia that that the the plaintiff is the author and first owner of the copy right of the story "Enthiran"

It was further asserted that the original story of the Plaintiff namely Jugiba, which published in the year 1996 , was stolen by the Defendant.

The Story Of Plaintiff:
The Plaintiff claimed to have originally authored the story namely JUGIBA which was published in the year 1996.

The subject matter Story authored by the Plaintiff was pertaining to a Humanoid Robo namely JUGIBA , who was having extra ordinary capabilities.

According to the Plaintiff, the story of JUGIBA was original literary work within the meaning of Copyright Act 1957. This story was first of all published in Tamil Magazine namely INIYA UDAYAM.

The Theme Of Plaintiff's Story:
The story of his book was based on the theme that there was Scientist who devoted decades in creating a robot having extra ordinary super power capability. Subsequently this Robot falls in Love with Heroine.

The Allegation:
The movie Enthiran copied this story from his book and that the Robot was named Jugiba in his book. The story of movie was claimed on the book of the Plaintiff namely JUGIBA. The Story of the Plaintiff was illegally copied by the maker of the Plaintiff and used in its Cinematographic work.

The Defence:
The Plaintiff can not have any monopoly in the idea of a Robot having extra ordinary capability and falling in love with Heroine.

The story of movie ROBOT is substantially different from the story of JUGIBA. The Defendant have presented and treated the story of the Plaintiff differently from that of the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff has not made out a case for Copyright Infringement.

The Judgement:
After hearing the arguments of parties, the Hon'ble Court was pleased to dismiss the Suit filed by the Plaintiff.

The Reasons For Dismissal.
There can not be any copyright in idea. For the purpose of Copyright Infringement, the Court is not required to look into any idea or theme.

Copyright exists only in tangible expression of idea. The Court protects only the tangible expression of the idea. There can not be any monopoly in the theme of this idea of a Robot falling in love with a girl.

The Hon'ble Court further observed that there are many dissimilarity in the book of the Plaintiff and the movie of the Defendant. The Robot of Movie was first developed for Indian Army, which subsequently developed emotions and then fallen in love with a girl. This story line was different from that of the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff himself admitted in his cross examination that there are many added matters in the movie of Defendant.

There Plaintiff has not examined any third party to prove that there are substantial similarity in the competing works of the parties.

In any case, the Plaintiff has not filed any comparative analysis of competing works of the parties to assist the Court to establish that competing works are substantially similar.

The Case Law Disclaimed:
Case Title:Aarur Tamilnandan v/s S.Sankar
Date of Judgment: 15.06.2023
Case No:CS No.914 of 2010
Neutral Citation No: NA
Name of Hon'ble Court: Hon'ble High Court of Madras
Name of Hon'ble Judge: S Sounther , H.J.

Information contained herein is being shared in the public Interest. The same should not be treated as substitute for legal advice as it is subject to my subjectivity and may contain human errors in perception, interpretation and presentation of the facts and law involved herein.

Written By: Advocate Ajay Amitabh Suman, IP Adjutor, Patent and Trademark Attorney
Email: [email protected], Ph no: 9990389539

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