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Shekhar Kapoor: “Just As Javed Fought For Writer’s Rights I’m Going To Fight For Directors’ Rights.”



Shekhar Kapoor Speaks Exclusively To  Subhash K Jha

Shekhar Kapoor is taking the  Zee network  to court. And  not only in India. Zee’s  decision to take the Shekhar  Kapoor-directed  iconic  blockbuster Mr India  forward  has  incurred the normally-equanimous Shekhar’s ire.

Also Read: Shekhar Kapoor Questions The Proposal To Extend Mr India Into A New Franchise

On  a flash-visit to India Shekhar spoke to me  from the airport on Sunday afternoon  just before  flying out. “I was here to consult lawyers.I am  taking the legal route with them(Zee network) across the world. I am meeting lawyers  trying to  understood how  best to take this . You see, copyright laws have always  been nebulous in our  country.”

It’s time to change that.

Says Shekhar Kapoor, “Javed (Akhtar) fought  a long and hard battle to win the  copyright ownership on behalf of writers. It’s time for me to do the same for directors. My legal battle  is  no longer about Mr India only. It’s about  the directors’ rights over  their films.”

Speaking on  the  ambivalence  of  copyrights  Shekhar says, “We’ve never been clear  on this issue. Except  A  R Rahman who owns the  copyrights of all his songs. The  rest  of  the  entertainment industry has never cared about copyright ownership. It’s time to change  that.Who owns the  right of  a film? How far does the director’s influence and rights extend over a film? We will let the courts decide that.”

Speaking on Mr India , I wondered if producer  Boney Kapoor has given away  the  rights of  Mr India to the Zee group.

“It’s not  his to give away. Boney has  the rights of  Mr India, not its sequel or any other spinoffs ,” says Shekhar who is educating himself  on  the legal aspects of copyright ownership.

Shekhar says  he is getting ready  for a long  court battle. “I am aware it’s going to be  tough. But I promise you I am going to see this to its closure.”

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