Infringement case: Court bans screening of ‘Byari’ film

Sara Aboobacker

The third additional district and sessions court has ruled in favour of renowned Kannada writer Dr Sara Aboobacker in the copyright infringement case against makers of the film ‘Byari’.

The court has declared that the film is an adaption of Dr Aboobacker’s Kannada novel ‘Chandragiriya Theerthadalli’. It has, therefore, prohibited the film’s producer Altaf Hussain and director Suveeran from screening the film in any part of the country.

Incidentally, ‘Byari’, the first film in Beary language, had won the ‘Swarna Kamal’ award at the 59th National Film Festival in 2011. Dr Aboobacker, who is a Nadoja awardee, moved the court the same year, as the makers of the movie had not taken her permission as copyright owner.

“I had been struggling since 2011 to fight the case of plagiarism against the makers of ‘Byari’. I had written to the government when the film was nominated for the national awards, but my request was disregarded by the government. I had to, therefore, file a case against the film makers,” said the writer.

“The case dragged on for eight years and 12 days. Initially late Gourishankar argued on my behalf in the court. With Gourishankar developing health issues, Shyama Rao took over. I am grateful to the sessions court judge Justice Muralidhara Pai, who delivered the judgement and those who helped me in the case,” Dr Aboobacker told DH.

The book and the film

“Chandragiriya Theeradalli”, one of her major works was written in the year 1984. The novel portrayed the plight of Muslim women and was acclaimed by most of the critics. Also, it was published in Kannada tabloid, “Lankesh Patrike”, as series. Parts of the novel and the storyline influenced by this book was made into film “Byari” by Suveeran without obtaining her permission in the year 2011. The film had shared the award with Umesh Kulkarni's Marathi film Deool at the 59th National awards in 2012.

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