The Bombay High Court enunciated its judgment in the broadcasting rights of Ranveer Singh-starrer ’83. The film can now unleash on Hotstar and Netflix. The judgment led in favor of Star India (owner of Hotstar) and Netflix for streaming ’83 on their respective outlets.
Plaintiff, Mad Man Film Ventures, stated that in light of consent terms, the ownership of academic property was divided between them (37.5%), Reliance Entertainment (37.5%) and one of the producers of the film (25%) by Vibri Media Pvt. Ltd. Advocate Virag Tulzapurkar materialized for Mad Man argued as per the article in the contract, for the period of first 10 years, it was entitled to receive a percentage of the net collection from Reliance.
Tulzapukar gave a statement that Due to the non-compliance of this clause by Reliance, Mad Man had not granted its consent to the platforms to broadcast the same and hence Hotstar and Netflix was required to be restrained from exploiting their rights received through Reliance without Mad Man’s prior consent.
Advocate Venkatesh Dhond appeared for the Reliance entertainment studios and contended at the outset that there seemed to be no challenge to the agreements entered into between Hotstar and Netflix. As for the challenge against the alleged non-compliance of the section, Dhond yielded that Reliance shall continue to have all ancillary non-theatrical rights or manipulation rights for the subject film on a worldwide basis for a period of 10 years from the date of the first dramatic release of the subject film. This would be during the First Cycle and it is only after the termination of the first cycle that Mad Man will have such manipulation rights in the film.
The OTT platforms argued that they had been allowed rights through agreements that were not under challenge and much previous in time to the consent phrase between Mad Man and Reliance. They also contended when Reliance had exclusive rights. Mad Man’s contractual rights would begin only after 10 years. In view of this, the Mad Man had no intention to even file the present suit for contravention of copyright.
After considering all capitulation, Justice Chagla was of the opinion that the OTT platforms, Netflix and Star already had precursor rights, both digital and satellite rights and Mad Man could not declare the right to cognitive property over such rights. Moreover, the Court noted that Mad Man could begin to utilize its rights over the film only after the expiry of the first 10 years, where Reliance had complete rights.