Back in 2007 we saw the release of the Ram Gopal Varma directed remake of the cult classic Sholay in the form of RGV Ki Aag. Now years on we learn that the Delhi High Court has slapped the director with a fine of Rs. 10 lakhs for intentionally and deliberately developing a remake of the 1975 film without permission, effectively violating the exclusive copyright vested with its director Ramesh Sippy.
This judgement comes after a lawsuit was filed by Sascha Sippy, son and grandson of the original film’s producers Vijay Sippy and GP Sippy. In his petition Sascha alleged that the remake film Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag (also titled Aag) was violative of the exclusive copyright held by the Sholay Media and Entertainment Pvt Ltd.
Imposing the fine as ‘punitive damages’ on Varma, his production house RGV Productions Pvt Ltd, Varma Corporation Ltd and Madhu Varma while further restraining them from using any character like Gabbar or Gabbar Singh in the original film. Further in its ruling by Justice Manmohan Singh the Delhi HC ruled that the use of a similar plot and characters coupled with use of the underlying music, lyrics and background score and even dialogues from the original film amounts to infringement of copyright.