All is (not) well….

Recently, “3 idiots” have created wave in bollywood grossing around 175 crore INR in it’s first week of release. It’s bumper opening and sort of record in bollywood history. Movie’s earning has definitely brought smile on the faces of producer and director however it has brought bitterness for Chetan Bhagat who claims that from his book “Five Point someone” the script of the movie has been written.

Chetan Bhagat says that he has not been given due credit in the beginning of movie and credit is displayed only in small letters after movie finishes. In last 3-4 days charges have been traded between Chetan Bhagat and production team of movie comprising Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Raju Hirani and (surprisingly) Aamir khan.

This is the story from the production houses. Production house says that they have entered into the contract with Chetan Bhagat and money has already been paid to him to buy rights. At the same time they say that in the agreement nothing has been mentioned about how credit should be given. Script of the movie is vaguely inspired from the book “Five point someone” and script write of the movie has made lot of changes to turn the story into the script. So Chetan Bhagat has no right to make any noise.

This is what Chetan Bhagat has to say. Chetan Bhagat insists that credit should be given to him before movie starts and script writer for the movie has not done anything except portraying his book into the script.

I haven’t seen this movie yet so I can not take any side in this raw. But as an outsider, I feel like the case of Mr. Chetan Bhagat looks weak. He is fabulous writer no doubt about it but he has not taken enough care to protect his intellectual property rights. He should have clarified about his preferred way of describing credit at the time of entering into the contract with production house. Perhaps this will act as learning curve for him. As such it is very difficult to protect IP rights and very difficult to pursue the legal action with success. If your paper work is not in place, you can just make hue n cry and at worst you may face defamation suit. From Chetan Bhagat’s blog post, it is apparent that Chetan tried to settle this issue in private with production  house but they didn’t pay any heed to his request so he has to come into the public.

Now this whole issue has come out in public and now I’m eager to see whether dust settles here or someone pursues the legal course. Chetan has suggested some compromise formula on his blog in post Moving to a solution now. Hope sense prevails.

4 Responses

  1. કૃણાલ, મેં નૉવેલ નથી વાંચી, પણ ફિલ્મ જોઈ છે. કોન્ટ્રેક્ટ બરાબર જોઈ-સમજીને સાઇન કરવો એ સલાહ તો ઘણા આપે છે પણ કોન્ટ્રેક્ટ અલગ વાત છે અને આ ક્રેડિટ વાળી વાત અલગ છે. એમ તો રાજુ હિરાની એ એવી શેખી મારી હતી કે હમને સ્ટોરી ખરીદી હૈ, ચુરાઈ નહી પણ આ દલીલ એકદમ બૉગસ છે કેમ કે તમે ફિલ્મ બનાવો છો ત્યારે રાઇટર, એક્ટર, ડાયરેક્ટર અને કામ કરતા દરેક કલાકારને મહેનતાણું ચૂકવો જ છો તો પછી એના નામ શું કામ લખો છો? આ (3i) ટોળકીની દાનતની વાત છે જે ખોરા ટોપરા જેવી દેખાય જ છે. વધુ માહિતી માટે આ બ્લોગ પણ જોઇ જશો.

  2. Yeah it’s a learning curve, being a writer and doing a business are different things… I have read book, and i have seen movie… I had loved the book and i loved movie too… It is true that book and movie are exactly not same, with book every engineer will have more moments to relate with so will you have with movie but there are moments in the movie, that can only be in a movie.
    But then there are a lot of similarities also in book and movie, enough to make out the base of the movie… Acc to me, whether you bought a script or rights or whatever, you should always give due credit to other people…. Everyone knew this movie is based on this book before moview released and so even i was surprised when i didnt see any mention of that in credits ( apparently i didnt sit to go through closing credits, i never do), so that way even though script has been modified or changed to suit the big screen, i feel you should give someone a credit, if not based on this book then may be by mentioning inspired by this book !

    I agree with CB on that, if we watch Harry Potter then even that is not a bit modified to suit big screen and fit in time scope, that doesnt make it not harry potter ! It is a learning curve for Chetan Bhagat, indeed.

    But such fight in media, that is really idiotic ! Why should such day come, or may be that is also a publicity stunt, as you never know with this glamor world… a contract creating controversy which creates more sales for book and movie ticket..both !

  3. Well, ethics is different thing and doing business / seeing the things legally are two different things. If you go by ethics than Credit in the beginning should be there. But Chetan Bhagat is insisting on adding his name as script writer which I think is unjust. If he wanted to be mentioned as script writer than he should have clarified at the time of signing a contract. However the contract only mention about rolling credit and that too not clear whether credit should be given in the beginning or in the end. ( ) At the same time, If you go by the Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s view, 160 pages of the 170 page screen play are nowhere in the book. ( ). If that is the case then Chetan Bhagat has no right to make any noise. The only thing he should have done was requesting a credit in a beginning of the film.
    Another poor business sense of Chetan Bhagat I found in the amount for which he sold all the rights. He gave away all the rights for just 1L + 10L only. I think he should have charged more for FPS rights.
    Anyways, out of this controversy both movie and book have benefited. Movie is rocking world over while book’s sale has seen jump of 30% in recent time. So all is well for both. 🙂

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