Copyright extends to theme, plot and storyline of literary works: Bombay Excessive Courtroom – india information


Bombay Excessive Courtroom has held that within the case of literary artworks, copyright extends not solely to the expression of the core thought but in addition to its theme, plot and the storyline.

The order pronounced on Friday got here on a plea filed by Urdu author Shamoil Ahmad Khan who claimed that Falguni Shah and two others had infringed his copyright in one in every of his quick tales, Singardan (Dressing Desk), and produced an online sequence underneath the identical title.

It’s being aired on an internet platform, Ullu, and can also be obtainable on YouTube, Khan mentioned. Khan claimed that producers of the net sequence had not solely copied the title but in addition all the plot, narrative and characters of his story.

Producers of the net sequence opposed his plea for an injunction claiming that save and besides the central thought of Singardaan, there was no different similarity between Khan’s work and the net sequence.

They claimed that the central thought—a person taking away a dressing desk from a brothel to his residence throughout riots and its use resulting in modifications within the behaviour of the womenfolk at residence—by itself was not entitled to any copyright safety.

They submitted that the depiction of the central thought within the net sequence, together with the pathos, texture, therapy, purport and presentation, was materially completely different from Khan’s story and due to this fact there was no query of infringement.

The argument, nonetheless, didn’t impress upon justice SC Gupte.

The choose mentioned it’s true that copyright doesn’t lengthen to concepts, or schemes, or techniques, or strategies and it’s confined to their expression, and if the expression will not be copied the copyright will not be infringed.

Justice Gupte clarified that in a literary paintings a germ of an thought is developed right into a theme after which right into a plot after which the ultimate story with the assistance of characters and settings. It’s the mixture of all these components which give a substance to the work, he mentioned.


“If one goes on stripping the ultimate work of those varied components, one might lastly come to the naked thought or abstraction which now not enjoys copyright safety.”

Justice Gupte mentioned when somebody strips the story of Singardaan of its elaborations, the motivations and the tribulations of its characters and their precise actions, they get the plot and the storyline.

“The above narration is the life and blood of the plaintiff’s (Khan’s) story,” mentioned the choose.

He added it can’t be mentioned that the author has copyright solely within the particulars of expression and that these are elaborations – the main points which don’t have any important bearing on the theme, plot and storyline of Khan’s work.

“If somebody steals this theme, plot and storyline, is he not thereby plagiarising the expression of the plaintiff’s work? Can the above theme, plot and storyline be merely dismissed as non-protectable concepts of the plaintiff’s work and never its expression? I feel not. We have now not but reached that stage of extraction the place the work will be stripped to its non-protectable thought,” he mentioned.

The choose concluded that although the producers of the net sequence developed Khan’s theme, plot and storyline in a unique method, prima face it was a case of copyright infringement, and restrained them from making any additional adaptation of Singardaan.

The court docket additionally directed them to keep up accounts of the income earned from the net sequence, proper from its inception until disposal of Khan’s swimsuit.

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