By Subhash K Jha
BOLLYWOOD: Pooja Bhatt is all set to initiate legal action against Vipul Shah and his co-producers UTV for the alleged infringement of copyright.
Vipul has used the title Holiday which Pooja claims belongs to her.
But Vipul protests he not only revised the original title he also got it approved by the Indian Motion Pictures’ Producers (IMPPA).
Says Pooja, “Vipul Shah wrote to me asking for the title Holiday. I said no. He approached the Film & Television Producers’ Guild Of India. The Guild rejected his application. He then went to the IMPPA and registered the same title with a tagline attached. I want to know, why should I bother to become a member of any of the film associations, pay them for the privilege, register and re-register my titles for a fee and still get copyright-challenged by any producer who wants to take my title? It’s like paying hafta (notorious weekly bribes to police) and still being beaten up.”
Pooja wants the film associations to get their act together and their procedures in place.
“A producer like Vipul Shah exploits a loophole in a rotten, outdated system where the film associations violate one another’s rules and interests and then pass on the buck.’’
Pooja says she took UTV, the IMPPA and the Association Of Motion Pictures And Television Programme producers (AMPTPP) to court for an earlier alleged copyright infringement.
“I took them to court over my title Thank You which they used unscrupulously. In fact, this matter will be listed in the High Court in the next few weeks. My title Holiday remains registered till 2016. And yet if someone else can use it what is the point of film associations?’’
Coincidentally, both the title wars that Pooja Bhatt faced involved projects starring Akshay Kumar.
Says Pooja, “This is not a personal Pooja Bhatt versus Akshay Kumar fight. It involves a much larger issue.’’
But Vipul Shah says, “Pooja thinks I’ve used the title when I don’t have it. This isn’t true. I had requested her to give me title Holiday. She did not and I had to go for the title Holiday – A Soldier Is Never Off Duty. I’ve gone through the legal process and got it registered. Only then have I used it. Pooja should be taking on the IMPPA who gave me the title.’’