Satyajit Ray, Family Owner Of Copyright Of ‘Nayak’ Rules Court
NEW DELHI, (IANS) – The Delhi High Court on May 23 rejected a plea moved by the producers of the 1966 Bengali film ‘Nayak’, R.D.B and Co., seeking injunction against publishing house HarperCollins from printing the novelization of the film’s screenplay.
Directed by iconic filmmaker late Satyajit Ray, ‘Nayak’ starring Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore in lead roles was Ray’s second entirely original screenplay after Kanchenjungha (1962).
The court said that the first owner of copyright in ‘Nayak’ was Ray who wrote the screenplay for the movie, and he had the right to novelize the screenplay. However, consequent on his demise, that right could be assigned to his son (Sandip Ray) and others on whom the right devolved.
“As the first owner of the copyright in the screenplay of the film ‘Nayak’, therefore, the right to novelize the screenplay also vested in Satyajit Ray. That right could be assigned by him â€ “and, consequent on his demise, by his son and others on whom the right devolved on any other person, under Section 18(1)44 of the Copyright Act,” the court said.
“The assignment of the right to novelize the screenplay of the film ‘Nayak’, by Sandip Ray and the SPSRA, in favor of the defendant is, therefore, wholly in order and in accordance with the provisions of the Act. On the other hand, the assertion, by the plaintiff, of the copyright in the screenplay of the film ‘Nayak’ is unsupported by any provision in the Act and is, in fact, in violation of the provisions which have been referred to hereinabove,” the court said.