In the case of Aarur Tamilnadan v S. SankarAarur Tamilnadan filed a lawsuit in an effort to establish his ownership of the copyright to the story “Enthiran,” which was taken from the original story “Jugiba,” which was written and published in April 1996. Additionally, he requested an injunction prohibiting S. Sankar from disseminating, displaying, and exhibiting an unauthorised copy of the feature picture “Enthiran.” Additionally, he requested a preliminary judgement ordering S. Sankar to give a true account of the profit they had made by violating the Aarur Tamilnadan’s copyright as well as a final decree declaring S. Sankar liable for the gains that were ultimately determined to have been earned by S. Sankar.
Observation of the Court
Justice S. Sounthar of the Madras High Court’s single-judge bench dismissed the lawsuit and reaffirmed that copyright cannot be asserted over an idea or concept. Aarur Tamilnadan was further ordered to pay S. Sankar’s legal fees.
According to the court, there are a number of differences between his story “Jugiba” and the plot of the movie “Enthiran” by S. Sankar. Aarur Tamilnadan acknowledged during testimony that S. Sankar had added to his story to make it more appealing to moviegoers. He further stated that the idea for the plot of S. Sankar’s movie “Enthiran” was drawn from his short tale “Jugiba”. No one may assert any type of copyright over an idea or concept, the court emphasised. Only the way in which an idea or concept is expressed can be protected by copyright. Additionally, the Court stated that when the same concept a humanoid robot falling in love with a human is shared by both stories similarities are bound to occur. The court cited the case of RG Anand, in which it was decided that it is up to the courts to decide whether the similarities are essential or significant features of the method of expression.
The Court commented that the Aarur Tamilnadan should have at the very least demanded that S. Sankar give the plot or script for his story “Enthiran.” Aarur Tamilnadan hasn’t tried to compare the plot for the Court in any way. He, therefore has no legal standing to seek remedy in this case.