A little over a week to go before its release and the R Madhavan-Bipasha Basu rom-com, Jodi Breakers, is entangled in two copyright-related cases. The Neolegal Associates claims it is a copy of American film Heartbreakers (2001), while Rupali Om Entertainment is accusing director-producer Ashwini Chaudhary of stealing their script.
An aspiring filmmaker, Insia Dariwala, also claims that she’d registered a similar script before Ashwini registered his. However, the dispute committee of the Writers’ Association has proved Insia wrong. “My script was registered around March, 2009, Insia gave a two-page idea sketch after my film was ready and there isn’t an iota of similarity between the two,” points out Ashwini. He insists that he will file a defamation case against the parties if the court issues a verdict in his favour, pointing out that despite filing a case against him, neither Neolegal Associates nor Rupali Om Entertainment have been able to produce strong evidence to support their arguments.
“The matter is sub judice, so I can’t talk about it now, but my company, Prasar Vision, will file defamation suit against these people and bodies who are going around making false claims,” Ashwini says strongly. He insists that he is sure Rupali Om Entertainment doesn’t have a script similar to his as has been alleged. “And I’m equally sure they haven’t registered a clear title either,” he adds. The Neolegal Associates, a leading intellectual property firm that handles litigation for Hollywood studios, has argued that Jodi Breakers is the plagarised Indian version of director David Mirkin’s 2001 romantic comedy, Heartbreakers. Ashwini admits that the film’s representatives visited his office.
“I gave them a synopsis of my film. They read it and agreed that that there are no similarities with Heartbreakers,” he says. “I asked them to read the script too but only after filing a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) as my film is yet to release. They refused to do so and moved court instead.” Prod him on whether the court has put an injunction on the February 24 release of Jodi Breakers, and the filmmaker says, “No, unless these parties can prove that I have stolen a script or made a film on similar lines, the court cannot take such a stand. We are on course.”