Partner in legal trouble over plagiarism
Sony pictures is taking action against companies K Sera Sera & Eros, co-producers for David Dhawan’s Partner, claiming that the film is a direct lift of the Hollywood film Hitch.
Producer Sohail Khan can hardly be blamed for thinking he was on safe ground in admitting that Partner was inspired by Hitch.
After all Bollywood has a long history of lifting liberally from Hollywood films not just the plot but in many cases even the frames.
However, now comes the hammer blow. A leading newspaper says the producers of Hitch, Will Smith’s production house Overbrook Entertainment and Sony Pictures Entertainment are contemplating a $30-million suit against the producers.
“I pay close attention to Sony projects, they’re like family. If they follow through, this could strike a deep blow at the heart of Bollywood filmmaking,” said Will Smith, actor.
Not just that, it could set a precedent for other international producers and even music companies who could find several songs, boasting the same beats as their international counterparts.
Barring Kal Ho Na Ho’s ode to Roy Orbison’s Pretty Woman rarely have these lifts happened through legal routes.
Ironically, Bappi Lahiri had filed a lawsuit in a federal court claiming the hit single ‘Addictive’ by Truth Hurts borrowed heavily and without permission from a 20-year-old Hindi song.
The lawsuit also charged American producers including hip hop impresario Dr Dre with practising a form of “cultural imperialism” by not crediting Third World artists.
Now that Indian filmmakers are on the receiving end for the first time the question is: Will Sony go through with the suit?
Neither Sony nor the producers of Partner were available for comment. But if the lawsuit is filed, it won’t be just the Partner team which will have to worry.