Bachchan’s ‘Jhund’ In Legal Trouble over Copyright Infringement

Hyderabad-based filmmaker Nandi Chinni Kumar has sent legal notices to the makers of Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Jhund over alleged copyright infringement. The film’s director Nagraj Manjule, producer Krishan Kumar, T-Series chairman and managing director Bhushan Kumar, Bachchan, along with Akhilesh Paul and Vijay Barse, on whose life the film is based, were among those who were served notices.

Kumar has claimed that he bought the exclusive rights from Akhilesh Paul in 2017 as he intended on making a biopic, titled Slum Soccer, based on football player who was the Indian captain at the Homeless World Cup. In Jhund, Bachchan plays the role of Vijay Barse, a retired sports teacher from Nagpur who starts a slum football movement.

Kumar told PTI that Paul had also signed a No Objection Certificate, declaring that the director had been given exclusive rights to make the biopic in any language and it had not been given to anyone else. “But he (Paul) went back on the promise and entered into another agreement with Jhund producers,” he alleged. The filmmaker has claimed that he sent several e-mails to the producers seeking clarification on the issue but received no response. He further alleged that his project had been delayed because of threats and criminal intimidation over the phone.

The legal notice also accused the producers of Jhund of “colluding and conspiring and committing infringement of copyrights and indulging in making of the film, being aware that it infringed the copyrights of our client (Kumar).”

“You addressees infringed copyrights of our client, and not only violated his copyrights, but also damaged our client's future prospects of making the film Slum Soccer,” the notice read. It also called upon the makers to desist from shooting, producing, post production, releasing film teasers, trailers and film posters, marketing, censor certification, broadcasting, selling satellite digital rights and promoting the film.

Kumar said he sent had sent e-mails to Bachchan in September. He told PTI that he received a reply only from T-Series and now “shortly” plans on moving court to stop the screening of Jhund.

(With inputs from PTI)

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