Exploitation Rights for Film ‘83’ of Reliance, Netflix and Hotstar upheld by Bombay High Court

Film 83 OTT Law Insider

Tanvi Pilane

Published on: March 20, 2022 at 12:59 IST

Streaming of the Bollywood film ‘83’ by Star India (Owner of Over The Top [OTT] platform Hotstar) and Netflix on their respective broadcasting portals was not restrained by the Bombay High Court.

The Court also upheld the exploitation rights of Reliance Entertainment Studios.

The Court was hearing the issue regarding the exploitation of satellite and/or Digital Media by Star and Netflix.

It was stated by the Plaintiff, Mad Man Film Ventures, that the ownership of intellectual property of the Ranveer Singh-starrer was divided between itself (37.5%), Reliance Entertainment (37.5%), and Vibri Media, one of the producers of the film (25%), according to the contract terms.

Senior Advocate Virag Tulzapurkar for Mad Man contended that the company was entitled to receive a percentage of the net collection from Reliance was the exploitation rights of the film vested with the company for the period after the first cycle (the first 10 years after the release of the film).

The Plaintiff argued that it had no obligation to consent to the delivery of the film for exploitation of digital or satellite rights until such payment was fully received.

It was contended by Senior Advocate Venkatesh Dhond for Reliance that there seemed to be no challenge to the agreements entered into between Star and Netflix.

It was also contended that Reliance had all ancillary, non-theatrical rights for the first 10 years after the theatrical release of the film.

The OTT platforms contended that their rights, which had been granted through agreements much prior in time to the consent terms between Mad Man and Reliance.

Justice RI Chagla stated that Netflix and Star already had antecedent rights, both digital and satellite, and that Mad Man could not claim IP rights over such rights.

The Court also observed that only after the expiry of the first 10 years Mad Man could commence exploiting its rights over the film. During this time, Reliance had exclusive rights.

Thus, ad-interim relief to Mad Man was rejected by the Court.

Also read:

Online content now under ambit of I&B Ministry

What is OTT Platform? and Regulations Governing in India

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