Sunday, October 12, 2014
In the legal notice sent to me, there seems to be an apprehension that the film "Sridevi" is based on a crush I personally had for Sridevi in my college years... I, many times over the last 5 years expressed this publicly in both the media and also to her which was taken by all concerned in a humorous and healthy spirit.
Now coming to the film "Sridevi", the story is about a teenager's infatuation towards a 25 year old woman...a subject matter like this was earlier dealt with, in such films as Malena, Cinema paradiso, Summer of 42, Rajkapoor's Mera Naam joker etc to name just a few... But coming to the film "Sridevi" neither is the woman playing the title role in my film is an actress nor the boy is a director... Also there's a huge age gap between the boy and woman in the film "Sridevi" which is not the case with me and the real Sridevi.
The title has been given to us by the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber which is the authorised body for such deeds..moreover films with this same title "Sridevi "have been made and released atleast 3 times in the last two decades ...The Film chamber already sent a reply saying that they are well within their rights to grant the title to us.
The film was earlier titled "Saavitri" but we changed it not for reasons of the protests as some sections of the media are falsely reporting... The reason for the change in title is due to a miscommunication on the production part they went ahead with the title without acquiring it from the previous right holder of the title... When the previous title holder refused to give the title we changed it to "Sridevi".After the producer got the title he went ahead with the printing of standees and hoardings with the new title... When Mr.Boney kapoor called me I explained to him both orally and in a message which I have also given to the press with regard to clearing the speculations on the so called controversial content of the subject...
I am deeply hurt by this action of Sridevi whom I always admired and respected and I strongly believe that she was influenced by others with vested interests..I am going ahead with the title "Sridevi" because I am well within my legal and moral rights to use it..legal because a name cannot be copyrighted and also like I said the film has nothing to do with the real Sridevi to the extent that the protoganist is not even an actress...moral because I know in my heart that I will never do anything to degrade or demean Sridevi and the final outcome of the film will prove that...
Ram Gopal Varma
My lawyers reply
Naik Naik & Company,
In response to the notice issued by you vide Sr.No.NN-AND487/2014 Dt.7-10-2014 which was placed before me by my client Mr.Ram Gopal Varma, Film Director and on his instructions I am giving you the following Reply.
The averments made in your notice are false and as such denied except those that are specifically admitted herein.
It is true that your client is a well known actress by her talent in acting and also by name, but it does not mean that your client is having a copy right or monopoly right over the name "Sridevi ".The title of the movie "SRIDEVI" to which my client is associated with,the story of the said movie is not in the lines of a Director and a cine actress, as such the apprehension by your client that the said film is based on the likeness and persona of your client as such is baseless and meaningless and the allegations made against my client in your notice are defamatory and causing damage to the reputation of my client.
It is not correct to say that my client’s film has scenes of immoral/obscene nature. Assuming that any such contents as alleged by your client are there in the film, there is a government appointed authority called “CENSOR BOARD” to monitor the same and it is none of your business to point the same based on media speculations about which my client already issued a clarification.
My client states that it cannot be presumed by your client a film to be made on her life with the title being her name, thereby causing substantial losses to your client..For your information there are 3 films with he same title “SRIDEVI” which have been made and released in the last two decades.
My client furthur states that coming to the point of changing the earlier title of the said film “SAAVITRI” was not because of the controversy and protests as falsely reported by some sections of media, but because of miscommunication on the production part and non reciept of no-objection of the title from the previous right holder of the title “SAAVITRI”.
My client states that in the above said circumstances my client refuses to cease the using of the name “SRIDEVI”, and for the same reasons will not publish an unconditional apology to your client in a news paper of national circulation
Finally my client states that registration of the title of the motion picture “SRIDEVI” has been duly approved by the AndraPradesh Film Chamber of Commerce which is the only authorised body
My client therefore calls upon you to advice your client accordingly and inspite of this reply if your client continues to harass my client then my client will have no option except to initiate necessary action. I advise you and your client to not complicate the issue.
Friday, October 10, 2014
Re Cease and desist notice for using the title “Sridevi” for your film and infringing the personality rights, intellectual property rights, constitutional rights and any other rights of Our Client. We write to you on behalf of our client Ms. Sridevi Kapoor (“Our Client”) wife of Mr. Boney Kapoor, with instructions to state as under:
1)As you are aware, Our Client is a famous and a well acclaimed actress in the Indian film industry for the past several decades. Our Client is considered to be an icon across the world in the cinema industry and is regarded as one of the leading actors in the country. Our Client has garnered immense reputation and goodwill for her contribution to the film industry. Our Client is cited as the first female superstar of Hindi cinema. Our Client has been bestowed with several awards in her professional career including five Filmfare Awards, Padma Shri Award as well as ‘India’s Greatest Actress in 100 Years’ Award. Our Client’s acting skills, style, mannerisms have contributed to her popularity. Needless to say, the fame and reputation associated with the name, likeness and persona of Our Client transcends borders and Our Client enjoys immense goodwill around the world.
2)Our Client has come to know that you are directing/producing a Telugu film which was earlier titled. “Savitri” (“Your Film”). The first look of Your Film has already stirred a lot of controversy and is being perceived as being obscene, sleazy and vulgar. It has been widely reported that the State Child Rights Protection Commission has termed the poster of Your Film “vulgar” and firmly believes that it is in violation of child rights. Our Client has further come to know that you have suddenly changed the title of Your Film from “Savitri” to “Sridevi”. On learning that the title of Your Film has been changed from “Savitri” to “Sridevi”, Our Client’s husband Mr. Boney Kapoor who is a well-known producer in the film industry, immediately tried to contact you to seek an explanation regarding the use of Our Client’s name as a title of Your Film. However instead of providing an explanation to Mr. Boney Kapoor, you simply sent a text on Whatsapp to Mr. Boney Kapoor with contents of a press note released by you which in no manner provided an explanation on the use of Our Client’s name for Your Film.
3)Our Client started her career in the South Indian film industry and has acted in several Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada films. She is considered to be a Diva not only in Bollywood but also in the South Indian film industry. Our Client has over the years established herself as one of the leading actresses in the Telugu and Tamil cinema and enjoys highest regards, reputation and goodwill in the entire South Indian film industry and Bollywood. In this regard, it is pertinent to note that you have in the past on several occasions publicly expressed your fascination, love and obsession for Our Client. Contents of a blog written by you on Our Client is enclosed herewith as Exhibit A. Also enclosed as Exhibit B are several media articles reporting your obsession and love for Our Client. It is evident from your blog and the said media articles that you have publicly announced your attraction towards Our Client and the public at large is aware about the same. Moreover it seems that the story of Your Film is based on a boy who falls in love with an elderly woman. Taking into account the popularity of Our Client in the Telugu Cinema read with your public expression of . obsession with Our Client and the story line of Your Film, the public at large is bound to relate Your Film with Our Client. It is therefore apparent that you have titled YourFilm as “Sridevi” to en cash on the goodwill and reputation of Our Client particularly in the South.
4)Our Client states that the change of Your Film’s title to “Sridevi” is bound to make the public at large believe that Your Film is associated with Our Client and / or Our Client has authorized you to use her name for Your Film. Our Client being a well-known celebrity, has the right to command and control the use of her name, image, likeness or other unequivocal aspects of her distinctiveness. Any misuse of her name, likeness, persona, etc. amounts to infringement of the personality right vested with Our Client besides amounting to acts of passing off. Any misuse of Our Client’s name, image, likeness, etc. would cause considerable confusion amongst the trade and public, who would seek to view any projects associated with Our Client or using her name, likeness or persona entirely on the basis of its supposed approval by Our Client. Our Client states that such film based upon Our Client’s name, likeness or persona would be a gross violation of her privacy and would subject her to needless embarrassment as she does not have any control over the content of any unauthorized or unapproved project/film. Given the stature, respect and renown enjoyed by Our Client internationally, such embarrassment and needless violation of privacy is undue, prejudicial and. of potentially defamatory nature. Our Client has already suffered considerable embarrassment due to the queries being raised to her regarding the title of Your Film and the association of Your Film with Our Client. Our Client iterates that right to privacy is recognized under Article 21 of the Constitution and Our Client has the fundamental right to safeguard her privacy.
5)Our Client further states that the subject line of Your Film seems to be outraging the modesty of a woman. The first look of Your Film shows a young teenage boy ogling at the navel of a young woman, and has already incensed women and child rights activists. Based on the first look of Your Film and the media perception of Your Film, Our Client reasonably apprehends that Your Film has scenes of immoral/obscene nature which would subject Our Client to defamation and grossly damage her reputation and goodwill built over years of hard work.
6)Our Client has not authorized you to use her name for Your Film. The use of Our Client’s name, likeness, persona etc. without her consent amounts to violation of her personality rights solely vested with her. You have unauthorizedly used Our Client’s name to promote Your Film to illicitly derive benefit and the same amounts to causing confusion and deception amongst the trade and public and further consequential acts of passing off.
7)Without prejudice to the aforesaid, Our Client further states that use of her name as the title of Your Film would also diminish the possibility of Our Client authorizing a film to be made on her life with the title being her name, thereby causing substantial losses to Our Client.
8)Our Client iterates that your unauthorized use of Our Client’s name, likeness, persona, etc. undisputedly amounts to an infringement of Our Client’s personality rights, right of privacy and intellectual property rights. Your aforesaid unauthorized actions further amount to the tort of passing off and are accordingly liable to be restrained forthwith.
9)In view of the aforesaid, as and by way of last opportunity, Our Client calls upon you to do the following:
(i) Cease and desist from using the name of Our Client, singularly and / or with any suffix, prefix or other word for Your Film and any other project.
(ii)Refrain from using the image, likeness, persona and any other attributes of personality rights of Our Client for Your Film or any other project.
(iii)Furnish Our Client with a written confirmation on the change of title of Your Film and the new title for Your Film.
(iv) Publish an unconditional apology to Our Client in a newspaper of national circulation and circulate the new title of Your Film.
(v) Without prejudice to Our Client’s right to take appropriate legal actions against you, Our Client reserves her right to claim appropriate damages from you, arising out of your: unauthorized use of Our Client’s name thereby violating Our Client’s personality and publicity rights.
In view of the aforesaid, Our Client calls upon you to comply with the aforesaid within 3 (three) days of receiving this notice, failing which Our Client shall be constrained to initiate appropriate legal proceedings against you, which shall be without prejudice to the other rights and remedies available in law to Our Client for the protection, enforcement and preservation of her legal rights, entirely at your risk as to costs and consequences arising thereof.
For Naik Naik & Company
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Manoj Manchu’s Current Theega is garnering perfect steam before the release. After revealing the extremely catchy “Devadas Break up Song” by Manoj Manchu, the makers of the film are all set to reveal the hottest item song featuring Manoj Manchu and Sunny Leone in Telugu and Hindi.
The oomph Item Song which is done with a whooping 1.25 Crore budget will reach the audience directly through various national music and entertainment channels. The makers are releasing the song today evening in a press meet.
This is the first time close to almost full song is released in Telugu and Hindi to audience before the release of the film.
The song is full of Sunny Leone’s vigor factor in each and every frame with her seductive appearance sets the temperature soaring, she looks stunning and adds loads of glam factor to the item song. The picturisation of the song is so well done that the spectators are sure going to enjoy seeing Rocking Star Manoj and voluptuous Sunny Leone groove to the song.
Produced by Vishnu Manchu’s 24 Frames Factory, presented by Dr M Mohan Babu, the film boasts of a powerful star cast that include Bollywood star Sunny Leone and Jagapathi Babu in an impactful role. Directed by G Nageshwar Reddy, Rakul Preet Singh is the female lead in Manoj’s Current Teega. Music is by Achu.
Current Theega is releasing worldwide on October 17th