‘Rangoon’ gets caught in copyright case, producers Wadia allege that Kangana’s character in the movie resembles that of Fearless Nadia in Hunterwali.
Here are the reasons provided by Rangoon filmmakers and their lawyers as to why they are not on the wrong side of the law:
- Director Vishal Bhardwaj says the iconic character of ‘Fearless Nadia’ is not original. Fearless Nadia is just a screen name like Dream Girl or Dilip Kumar, not a fictional character like Superman, Godzilla or James Bond that could be copied.
- Rangoon director used publicly available information to make the film. Besides, six competitors of Wadia Movietone (original producers of Hunterwali) had used Nadia’s name to make movies, but Wadias never objected. Fearless Nadia’s character itself was copied from Zorro and Pearl White.
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- “Character copyright is not sustainable as per Indian Copyright Right Law. So if we consider Fearless Nadia as a character, it can’t be a fit case under copyright law anyway. Nadia was an adopted name by Mary Evans much before Hunterwali (1935) came out. She added ‘Fearless’ later since she performed stunts on her own,” said lawyer Saraf
- Wadia Movietone (Indian film production company established by Wadia brothers) had claimed to have shared a script with Vishal Bhardwaj in 2006, but the Rangoon filmmaker denied receiving any such script, thereby dismissing copyright infringement charges.
- While there could be parallels between Hunterwali (1935) and Rangoon’s trailer, there’s nothing that matches Wadia’s script, which was supposedly handed to UTV. Bhardwaj eventually made Rangoon with help of American scriptwriter, th duo did extensive research on stunt women from World War II era.
The court will give its judgment today, one day before the release of Rangoon.