The ‘3 IDIOTS’ Controversy – Focusing on the Contractual Liabilities and Moral Rights of the Author
Debadyuti Banerjee & Parth Gokhale*
Volume 3 Issue 1 (2010)
The Hindi film ‘3 Idiots’ which released in 2009 has achieved that dubious distinction of having attracted the attention of legal academia because of the public war of words between the film’s makers on the one hand, and the novelist from whose novel the movie derives considerable inspiration on the other. The genesis of the dispute was in the novelist, Chetan Bhagat’s contention that the Production House, namely Vidhu Vinod Chopra Productions, had adapted the content of his novel to an extent far greater, and in a manner far more direct, than what he had been led to believe by way of the Agreement arrived at between them. Another allegation directed against the Production House was concerning the inadequacy of credits acknowledged to the Author by way of the said Agreement. The paper addresses the above issues under two distinct heads, namely the contractual liabilities and those pertaining to the intellectual property rights. It tries to suggest some remedial steps which could be taken by novelists in similar situations in addition to steps which could be taken by the State to give better protection to such vulnerable parties in the future.