Emory International Law Review

Is Bollywood Unlawfully Copying Hollywood? Why? What has Been Done About It? And How Can It Be Stopped?
Arjun Shah Managing Editor, Emory International Law Review; J.D. Candidate, Emory University School of Law (2012); B.A., cum laude, Rutgers University (2009). The Author would like to thank Professor Timothy R. Holbrook, whose advice and guidance greatly contributed to the development of this Comment. The Author would also like to thank the Emory International Law Review staff for their hard work and dedication in bringing this Comment to publication.

Introduction

A popular film favorite among lawyers and law students is the 1992 Oscar-winning comedy, My Cousin Vinny. 1 My Cousin Vinny (Palo Vista Productions 1992); My Cousin Vinny, Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104952 (last visited Apr. 13, 2012). The film features Joe Pesci as a quick-witted but hapless attorney defending two innocent New York teens from a capital murder charge in the Deep South. 2 My Cousin Vinny, supra note 1; My Cousin Vinny, supra note 1. It was fitting, then, that a film about law and justice would be used as a guinea pig in Hollywood’s most aggressive attempt to enforce its copyrights against unauthorized Bollywood remakes of Hollywood movies. 3 See Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai: Stuck in Copyright Row, Release on Hold for Multiplex Stir, The Indian Express (May 21, 2009, 3:35 AM), http://www.indianexpress.com/news/banda-yeh-bindaas-hai-stuck-in-copyright-row-release-on-hold-for-multiplex-stir/463253/0. In the spring of 2009, Twentieth Century Fox (“Twentieth Century”) took the unprecedented move of filing suit for copyright infringement in the Bombay High Court of India 4For an overview of the structure of Indian courts, see Rachana Desai, Note, Copyright Infringement in the Indian Film Industry, 7 Vand. J. Ent. L. & Prac. 259, 265 (2005). For the history of the Bombay High Court, see History of High Court of Bombay, High Ct. Bombay, http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in (last visited Feb. 13, 2012). against the Mumbai 5In 1996, the city known as “Bombay” was renamed “Mumbai.” The high court in Mumbai, however, retained the name “Bombay.” History of MCGM, Mun. Corp. Greater Mumbai, http://www.mcgm.gov.in/irj/portal/anonymous?NavigationTarget=navurl://d20cb3d618ee8cb6c3a780df7c58030c (last visited Feb. 13, 2012). -based film production company, BR Films. 6 See Hetal Vyas, Stay Order, Mumbai Mirror (June 16, 2009, 3:35 AM), http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=30&contentid=2009061620090616033535477288d7b5d (“This is the first time that a Hollywood film studio has taken a Bollywood filmmaker to court over remaking their film.”). BR Films was set to release Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai (This Guy Is Fearless) in June 2009. 7See id. Twentieth Century alleged that the producers and director of Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai blatantly created a “substantial reproduction” of My Cousin Vinny. 8 Id. The Bombay High Court issued an injunction delaying the Indian film’s release while litigation ensued. 9 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. BR Films & ANR, NMS/1561/2009 (Bombay H.C. 2010) (unreported consent order), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2009/NMS156109050809.pdf. Both parties agreed to a settlement before the court could issue a decision. 10 Id.; see also Bollywood Copy Case ‘Is Settled,’ BBC News, (Aug. 7, 2009, 1:47 PM), http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8189667.stm. The settlement left unanswered the question of whether Bollywood could continue to make unauthorized remakes of Hollywood movies with impunity. Nevertheless, in October of 2010, Twentieth Century presented the Bombay High Court with another opportunity to reach a holding regarding the legality of an unauthorized Bollywood remake. 11Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf. This time, the court reached a decision and found that the accused Bollywood studio was liable for copyright infringement. 12 Id. ¶¶ 33–36; see also Naman Ramachandran, Fox Wins Partial Ruling on Bollywood Remake, Variety, (Oct. 15, 2010, 4:00 AM), http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118025734. The court’s decision was the first judicial opinion in India holding a Bollywood studio liable for unlawfully copying a Hollywood film. 13Ramachandran, supra note 12 (“The judgment marks the first time that an Indian court has ruled that Bollywood infringed a Hollywood copyright.”).

The major player in the Indian film and entertainment industry, commonly referred to as Bollywood, has had a long tradition of taking Hollywood movies and music and remaking them to serve a primarily South-Asian audience. 14 See Neelam Sidhar Wright, “Tom Cruise? Tarantino? E.T.? . . . Indian!: Innovation Through Imitation in the Cross-cultural Bollywood Re-make, in Cultural Borrowings Appropriation, Reworking, Transformation 194 (Iain Robert Smith ed., 2009). Wright also writes:Although I mainly cite Bollywood remakes produced over the past eight years, I do not intend to fix a date-period to this phenomenon. Hollywood narrative adaptations in 1990s Bollywood cinema have been partly explored by Sheila J. Nayar (1997). Also, we can find earlier evidence of such appropriation in films such as Mr India [sic] (1987), which works almost as a cultural inversion of Steven Spielberg’s Indian [sic] Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and in the 1950s with screen legend Raj Kapoor’s involvement in reworkings of Charlie Chaplin films, Frank Capra’s It happened One night [sic] (1934), and Vittorio De Sica’s Shoeshine (1946).Id. at 206 n.1. Bollywood consists of the producers, directors, actors, and others who are responsible for most of the Hindi-language based films that are produced in cinema. 15 Tejaswini Ganti, Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema 1, 2–4 (2004). Its films are recognized for their romantic dramas and elaborate song-and-dance scenes that depart from the storyline of the script. 16 See id. at 3. Bollywood has been recognized as the world’s largest film producer since the 1970s. 17 See id. (stating that the Hindi-language Bollywood films, together with the feature films produced in approximately twenty other Indian languages, make India the largest feature film-producing country in the world). The annual growth rate of India’s film industry is several times the growth rate of India’s gross domestic product. 18Manjeet Kripalani & Ron Grover, Bollywood: Can New Money Create a World-Class Film Industry in India?, Bloomberg Businessweek (Dec. 2, 2002), available at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/02_48/b3810013.htm (“The huge popularity of India’s film industry in emerging markets has fueled an annual growth rate of 15% for the past five years—three times that of India’s 5% gross domestic product growth.”). The industry’s annual revenues have consistently increased over the past decade. 19 Id. Film distribution to international audiences in the forms of DVDs and satellite television has also helped Bollywood increase its profits. 20 Id. In fact, approximately half of Bollywood’s multi-billion-dollar annual revenues come from overseas markets like the United States where growing South-Asian communities provide for large audiences. 21Lakshmi N. Tirumala, Bollywood Movies and Cultural Identity Construction Amongst Second Generation Indian Americans 5 (Aug. 2009) (unpublished M.A. thesis, Texas Tech University), available at http://www.global.asc.upenn.edu/docs/ICA2009/LakshmiT.pdf. This helps explain why “[f]ilms from India do more business in the United States than films from any other country.” 22Anita W. Wadhwani, “Bollywood Mania” Rising in United States, Wash. File (Aug. 9, 2006), http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2006/August/20060809124617nainawhdaw0.8614466.html. The author is referring to the volume of box office sales when stating the films “do more business.” Id. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimated that by 2013, filmed entertainment in India will gross close to $3.8 billion annually. 23Sanjaya Baru, Bollywood’s Global Market Beckons, Rediff.com (Jan. 11, 2010, 12:17 PM), http://business.rediff.com/column/2010/jan/11/guest-bollywoods-global-market-beckons.htm. Bollywood’s media caters to a subcontinent with over one billion people 24India, World Bank, http://data.worldbank.org/country/india (last visited Jan. 19, 2011). and a growing international audience. 25Baru, supra note 23 (“While Bollywood’s revenue numbers are nowhere near Hollywood’s, it churns out more films and now screens them in nearly a 100 countries [sic] around the world.”). Bollywood’s increasing popularity, both internationally and within the United States, and rising commercial value have recently attracted the attention of Hollywood producers who no longer wish to remain tolerant or apathetic toward unauthorized Bollywood adaptations of Hollywood entertainment. 26 See Rhys Blakely, Hollywood Is Watching As Bollywood Loses the Plot, Times (London), Aug. 7, 2009, at 33 (“It’s going to be very tough to rob ideas from now on. Hollywood’s suddenly looking at Bollywood very minutely.”).

This Comment emphasizes the notion that enforcing film copyrights is of interest to Hollywood and the United States because legally protected creativity and originality should be given proper international recognition, and unauthorized imitations should be subject to penalties. Furthermore, this Comment reveals that the economic incentives for Hollywood to aggressively enforce its copyrights against Bollywood copycats are now stronger than they ever were before. 27See Baru, supra note 23; Wadhwani, supra note 22. This Comment also suggests that effective intellectual property enforcement may provide an incentive for Bollywood to explore its own creative potential rather than implicitly concede creative inferiority by engaging in unauthorized remakes.

Part I of this Comment explores the underlying reasons driving entities in Bollywood to copy American entertainment. It then explores the nature, frequency, and extent of Bollywood’s copying. The repercussions of the copies and imitations on the American and Indian entertainment industries are briefly examined. Part II introduces relevant U.S. and Indian copyright law and analyzes whether any of Bollywood’s copying techniques and practices actually amount to actionable copyright infringement. It assesses the defenses and arguments raised by Bollywood’s noninfringement proponents and ultimately finds that the remake and adaptation techniques used by many Bollywood filmmakers do amount to an actionable claim for copyright infringement. Part III explains the problems with enforcing Hollywood copyrights in India and tracks recent positive developments in Indian copyright law regarding Hollywood. The final part of this Comment explains how the international intellectual property enforcement mechanism under the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (“TRIPS”) agreement 28Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, Annex 1C, done Apr. 15, 1994, 1867 U.N.T.S. 3 [hereinafter TRIPS]. is effectively of little use to Hollywood plaintiffs. As a solution to the infringement, this Comment ultimately proposes a special contractual agreement between film production entities in Hollywood and Bollywood that deters unauthorized remakes and provides for transaction models to facilitate compensation for the owners of copyrighted works. Such an agreement would provide for more effective and prompt remedies and would lay a foundation for better relations and increased cooperation between the two film industry giants.

I. Bollywood’s Copying: Why, How, and What Are the Consequences?

A. Reasons for Copying

It is helpful to understand why and how Bollywood copies Hollywood entertainment before assessing the need for remedies or the legal aspects of the copying in order to determine what the appropriate legal actions are. This Part identifies and discusses some of the underlying reasons behind Bollywood’s proclivity for copying and explains what their significance to Hollywood is. First, this Part looks at some of the different cultural attitudes in India and the United States regarding the ethics and legality of copying. The legal implications of these cultural differences are evident in some of the Indian case law regarding copyright infringement and are addressed later in this Comment. Second, Part I looks behind the scenes of Bollywood to reveal several financial pressures that play a substantial role in driving Bollywood studios to copy Hollywood films. It shows that while some of the pressures on Bollywood are less relevant today than they were in the past, the general pressure to increase box-office revenues remains constant, and is often seen by the industry as being most easily answered through copying. Next, this Part briefly explains the roles globalization and Westernization play in Bollywood’s imitations. This Part concludes by emphasizing that, in addition to helping Hollywood identify the best mode of legal recourse, an understanding of the underlying reasons can help Hollywood bring about uniformity in Indian and U.S. copyright laws and open new channels of financial opportunity.

1. Culture Clash

Until recently, filmmakers and producers in Bollywood were often very candid in admitting that some of their works are remakes or adaptations of Hollywood movies or some other forms of American entertainment. 29 See Kanchana Banerjee, Cloning Hollywood, Hindu (Aug. 3, 2003), http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mag/2003/08/03/stories/2003080300090400.htm. In 2003, Bollywood director Vikram Bhatt boldly shared his view on remaking Hollywood movies in an interview with The Hindu magazine: “If you hide the source, you’re a genius. . . . I would rather trust the process of reverse engineering (remaking a film) rather than doing something indigenous. Financially, I would be more secure knowing that a particular piece of work has already done well at the box office.” Id. (quoting Vikram Bhatt) (internal quotation omitted); see also Ganti, supra note 15, at 75 (“Hindi filmmakers are quite open about their sources of inspiration.”). Their openness can be attributed in part to their understanding of what does and does not belong in the public domain. 30In intellectual property law, the public domain is defined as “[t]he universe of inventions and creative works that are not protected by intellectual-property rights and are therefore available for anyone to use without charge.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1349 (9th ed. 2009). A shared belief among many Bollywood filmmakers is that “once something is in the public domain, it is fair game.” 31 Ganti, supra note 15, at 76. While this statement is correct, the problem is that Bollywood filmmakers misconceive the scope of the public domain, particularly when it comes to understanding what constitutes a publicly available idea versus a protected expression. See infra Part II.B.1. Many of them “think nothing wrong of being ‘inspired’ by a particular film.” 32 Ganti, supra note 15, at 76. However, the concept of the public domain and its scope “is much more expansive in India than it is in the [United States].” 33 Id. Although Western perceptions of the public domain and intellectual property, since their imposition by British colonialists, 34 See Jishnu Guha, Time for India’s Intellectual Property Regime To Grow Up, 13 Cardozo J. Int’l & Comp. L. 225, 247 (2005) (“[I]n India, a Western-style IP tradition is a relative newcomer, largely imposed upon it by English colonialists.”). have woven their way into India’s jurisprudence, “the prevalent cultural attitude [in India] is that borrowing cinema plotlines, musical tunes, or even patented technologies is not so egregious a violation as to warrant legal sanction.” 35 Id. at 248. Thus, filmmakers in India have historically lacked an incentive to pursue licenses or express written authorizations before making remakes or adaptations because they have held a much broader conception of what is considered in the public domain and not protected by law.

2. Money, Money, Money

Aside from different interpretations of the public domain, several financial factors have pushed and continue to push Bollywood filmmakers to copy American movies. As mentioned earlier, Bollywood is recognized as the world’s largest film producer. 36 Ganti, supra note 15, at 3. In the past, a typical Bollywood studio’s financial success was more contingent on the quantity of films produced than on the quality or originality of the films. 37See id. at 37 (suggesting that it was easier to have average-earning films before the 1990s because it was easier to attract customers to the theaters). Historically, most Bollywood movies made a profit even if they were poorly reviewed. 38Id. The films were generally low-budget productions, especially in comparison to Hollywood movies. 39 Bollywood vs. Hollywood, Businessweek, http://www.businessweek.com//magazine/content/02_48/art02_48/a48tab37.gif (last visited Feb. 15, 2012). A modest attendance by India’s immense film-hungry population at the theaters was usually sufficient for the studio to make some form of profit. 40Ganti, supra note 15, at 37; see also Tirumala, supra note 21 (stating that 14 million Indians go to the cinema every day). Thus, copying was seen as a time-efficient tool for producing a large volume of films that amounted to substantial profits in the aggregate.

Although Bollywood budgets have increased markedly from the past and box-office failures are more commonplace, many Bollywood filmmakers continue to copy because they operate under the assumption that an Indian remake of a financially or critically successful Hollywood film will also be successful, provided that the American movie can be remade to conform to Indian culture. 41 See Banerjee, supra note 29. Studios are hesitant to invest in original works because they believe such works involve high financial risks in comparison to films that have already proven to be successful. 42 See id. Studios are unwilling to take financial risks for a number of reasons. Competition among film studios is stiff. 43 See generally Competition Among Bollywood Heros, Bharatwaves.in (June 6, 2006, 11:42 AM), http://bharatwaves.com/news/Competition-among-Bollywood-Heros-1623.html. A Bollywood film’s popularity is often as fleeting as a few short weeks. 44 See Ganti, supra note 15, at 85–95. Thus, the push for new releases is a constant pressure on Bollywood filmmakers if they wish to generate a steady stream of revenues. The sheer volume of movies released by Bollywood results in screenwriters faced with demanding deadlines. 45 Id. at 77. The pressure on the screenwriters from studio executives to churn up new screenplays crushes the writers’ incentives to experiment with novel and original scripts.

Additionally, financing of Indian films has a long, corrupt history. 46 Id. at 50. Before the Indian government granted Bollywood “industry status” 47The Indian government’s grant of “industry status” meant that banks were no longer prohibited from lending to film producers. Bollywood Rising, Economist, Feb. 9, 2008, at 72. in 2001, organized crime entities in Mumbai financed much of the production capital for Indian films. 48 Ganti, supra note 15, at 50. A studio’s failure to generate a positive box-office return on a film meant that filmmakers would be indebted to organized crime bosses. 49 Id. Stories of extortion and even murder taking place behind the scenes of a Bollywood movie’s set before Bollywood received industry status were commonplace. 50 See Leela Jacinto, ‘Bollywood’ Produces Real-Life Drama, ABC News (May 4, 2001), http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=81141. Even after receiving governmental recognition, stories of underworld influence continued to make headlines every so often. 51Rakesh Roshan, Bollywood director and father of the popular Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan, was shot in an assassination attempt in early 2000. Nitasha Natu, Rakesh Roshan Gets Mafia Threats, Times India (Dec. 18, 2004, 2:14 PM), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Rakesh-Roshan-gets-mafia-threats/articleshow/963285.cms. Roshan claimed he continued to receive death threats well into 2004. Id. Police suspected the involvement of South-Asian organized crime factions in the attempt on Roshan’s life. Id. Thus, the threat of violence was enough for the studios to persuade filmmakers to copy in the hopes of duplicating Hollywood’s financial success.

Although the pressure from organized crime has subsided to a certain extent, the pressure for studios to continue to bring in large revenues remains constant. Therefore, in an effort to maximize the probability of box-office success, Bollywood studios routinely look to copy successful American movies. 52 See Banerjee, supra note 29. Some recent examples of Bollywood films that have been accused of copying successful Hollywood pictures include Partner (2007), Chocolate (2005), Phir Milenge (2004), and Kaante (2002). 53 Bollywood and Plagiarism: List of Bollywood Movies Copied from Hollywood, Bollywood Trends, http://www.bollywoodtrends.net/2009/04/bollywood-and-plagiarism-list-of.html (last visited Feb. 15, 2012). The movies these films were accused of copying were Hitch (2005), The Usual Suspects (1995), Philadelphia (1993), and Reservoir Dogs (1992), respectively. 54 Id.

3. Globalization, Westernization, and What It Means to Hollywood

Globalization and Westernization have influenced Bollywood into assuming that imitating Hollywood can translate to financial success. Western culture has had a large role in shaping the stories and themes of Bollywood movies. 55Sharmistha Acharya, Bollywood and Globalization (Mar. 15, 2004) (unpublished M.A. thesis, San Francisco State University), available at http://www.dishumdishum.com/BollyPresentation/GLOBALIZATION.PDF. A comparative examination of Bollywood films from the 1960s and 1970s to contemporary films reveals substantial differences in plots, style, and dialogue among other things. 56 Id. Contemporary Bollywood movies feature far more Western or American influences than the prior art. 57 Id. These influences can be seen in everything from the clothes to the set of moral values depicted in the films. 58 Id. The increase in the volume of Western themes in Bollywood movies is also a consequence of growing South-Asian populations in North America and Europe. 59 Id. Further, Bollywood assumes that having substantial Western influences in their movies will appeal to South-Asian Americans and Americans in general and therefore help in bringing in more revenues from the United States. 60 See Wadhwani, supra note 22.

An understanding of the reasons for copying identified above will help Hollywood bridge cultural gaps in Indian and U.S. copyright laws when litigating and lobbying for legal reform. Cultural perspectives that view copying as innocuous or “fair game” are likely to evolve in light of contrary legal mandates. Also, because much of the copying is due to adulation for Hollywood and Western culture, it behooves Hollywood to explore financial opportunities in a market that it has already influenced heavily, albeit unknowingly.

B. Extent and Nature of Copying

At first glance, a non-Hindi speaking audience may find a Bollywood remake to bear little resemblance to its Hollywood source. Filled with outbreaks of song and dance and colorful garments, most Bollywood movies are certainly distinguishable from any form of contemporary entertainment generated by Hollywood. However, the imitations are far more noticeable to South-Asian populations familiar with Hollywood entertainment. While the musical routines and fashion may be unique to Bollywood, the plotlines and dialogues are often mere translations. 61AshleyAshley, Bollywood ♥ Hollywood = ©, Copyright, Comm. & Culture (May 3, 2010), http://copyrightcommerceandculture.com/2010/05/03/bollywood-hollywood-%C2%A9. The extent of the copying ranges from lifting a few scenes from Hollywood movies to rewording entire plots into Hindi. 62The Bollywood List of Plagiarism, Remakes and Inspirations (2008), Manishwa.com (Jan. 11, 2009), http://www.manishwa.com/2009/01/the-bollywood-list-of-plagiarism-remakes-and-inspirations-2008.

Proponents of noninfringement often dismiss charges of copyright infringement because some Bollywood films lift only certain brief scenes as opposed to entire plotlines. For example, Tejaswini Ganti, a professor of anthropology at New York University whose research interests include Indian cinema, 63Tejaswini Ganti, Dep’t Anthropology | NYU, http://anthropology.as.nyu.edu/object/tejaswiniganti.html (last visited Feb. 15, 2012) (CV of Ganti). held the position that accusations of infringement are often exaggerated. 64 Ganti, supra note 15, at 75–76. For example, she explained that the Bollywood movie Darr (Fear) (1993) “is consistently described as a ‘copy’ of Cape Fear despite the vast differences in plot, characterization, and theme, because it portrays a dramatic fight sequence on a storm-swept boat.” 65 Id. at 75. Although some films may lift only a brief sequence from another movie, copyright infringement may still be found for a substantially similar and unauthorized remake of a single scene or plotline from a copyrighted film. 66 See infra Part II.B.2. Also, while some Bollywood films lift only certain brief sequences from a Hollywood movie, many other Bollywood films are composed of several copied scenes from multiple movies merged into a single film. 67 See The Bollywood List of Plagiarism, Remakes and Inspirations, supra note 62. If the particular scenes that are lifted from Hollywood movies are removed from the Bollywood film, the Bollywood film may lack any meaningful substance and fail to stand on its own. 68In Twentieth Century’s suit for copyright infringement of Phone Booth, Judge Dalvi noted that absent the copied scenes and plots, the defendant’s accused film, Knock Out, would become “meaningless” and would not stand on its own. Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847, ¶ 28 (Bombay H.C. 2010) (Dalvi, J.), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/ NMS284710141010.pdf. Thus, the amount of originality that goes into a Bollywood work is heavily criticized as far too insubstantial. 69 See Blakely, supra note 26, at 33 (quoting Chander Lall, a lawyer representing two major American studios, as saying, “Audiences now want new stories. The problem is, Bollywood has no tradition of producing original screenplays.”).

Although some Bollywood studios employ a strategy of compiling various scenes from multiple Hollywood movies in an attempt to evade copyright infringement charges, the example cited by Ganti is not representative of the industry’s practice of copying. Several websites monitor and report incidents of Bollywood copying Hollywood. 70 See, e.g., The Bollywood List of Plagiarism, Remakes and Inspirations, supra note 62. One source estimates that, in 2008, forty-six percent of Bollywood films copied Hollywood films. 71 Id. Of those 2008 copies, “only [two] were authorized ‘adapted’ screenplays.” 72 Id. Another source states that “[i]n recent years, nearly eight out of every ten Bollywood scripts have been ‘inspired’ by one or more Hollywood films.” 73 See Desai, supra note 4, at 259 (citing Subhash K. Jha, Whose Movie Is It Anyway?, Rediff.com (May 19, 2003, 2:18 PM), http://www.rediff.com/movies/2003/may/19copy.htm).

Due in part to globalization, Bollywood’s audience is becoming increasingly familiar with Hollywood entertainment. While Bollywood’s popularity continues to grow internationally, so too does Hollywood’s popularity with South-Asian communities across the world. 74 See Radhika Sachdev, It Is Raining 3D Hollywood Movies, Tehelka (Nov. 23, 2010), http://www.tehelka.com/story_main47.asp?filename=Ws231110ENTERTAINMENT.asp. It is more common now for a fan of both cinemas to get a sense of déjà vu while watching a Hollywood or Bollywood movie and then notify the public by blogging, tweeting, or using other forms of the internet’s social media. Therefore, public notice, and more specifically, notice to Hollywood about the nature and extent of Bollywood’s copying is almost instantaneous.

C. Repercussions of Copying

The audiences’ prompt notice to Hollywood about the instances of copying has drawn more attention to understanding the repercussions of the copying for both Hollywood and Bollywood. This Subpart first addresses some of the repercussions the copying has on Hollywood. It explains how the consequences of the copying are largely financial in nature. Next, the consequences for Bollywood are discussed. This Subpart reveals how Bollywood suffers both reputational and financial consequences as a result of the copying.

1. What the Copying Means for Hollywood

The repercussions of Bollywood’s copies on Hollywood are primarily financial in nature. Under both Indian and U.S. copyright laws, the owner of a copyrighted work retains the exclusive control to make copies and prepare derivatives 75 See infra Part II.A. of his work. For the purpose of discussing the financial consequences, let us assume that Bollywood’s remakes and adaptations are either infringing copies or infringing derivative works of underlying Hollywood films. Even if the original Hollywood author did not contemplate entering the Bollywood market, he is entitled to a portion of the proceeds from that market if a derivative of his work is released there. 76 Id. Although the exclusive right to prepare derivative works has been criticized for extending the scope of a copyright owner’s protection too far, 77 See Robert P. Merges et al., Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age 563 (5th ed. 2010) (“From a strict incentive perspective, should we reward authors in markets they did not originally enter? . . . The economic rationale for derivative works may break down where the derivative right is used to preclude defendants from developing their own creative works in a market the plaintiff has not herself exploited, but which depends somehow on the plaintiff’s work.”). both the United States and India grant copyright owners such protection. 7817 U.S.C. § 106(2) (2006); The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011), available at http://indiacode.nic.in. The policy and economic rationale for such protection is that providing exclusive rights for derivative works incentivizes creativity because authors may still be able to profit from their creativity when their works are translated into different forms. 79 Paul Goldstein, Derivative Rights and Derivative Works in Copyright, 30 J. Copyright Soc’y U.S.A. 209, 216 (1982).

When the derivative remakes and adaptations are distributed in Bollywood’s markets with legal impunity, Hollywood filmmakers are denied the opportunity to exploit these markets. Although Hollywood may not have been able to capitalize off Bollywood’s market without the remakes or adaptations, Hollywood retains a right to collect from the market when its copyrighted works are transformed. 80 See 17 U.S.C. § 106(2); The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011), available at http://indiacode.nic.in. Therefore, Hollywood copyright owners are legally entitled to some portion of the profits generated from the remakes and adaptations. Absent such copyright enforcement, the economic incentives for Hollywood filmmakers to develop new works and explore new markets, such as India, are likely to be substantially diminished.

Hollywood has good reason to pursue economic opportunities in what has traditionally been Bollywood’s market. As mentioned earlier, Bollywood revenues exceed billions of dollars a year. 81Saikat Chatterjee, Hollywood Goes Bollywood As Studios Target India Filmgoers, Bloomberg (May 19, 2010, 11:37 AM), http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-18/hollywood-crashes-bollywood-as-disney-enters-land-of-three-billion-tickets.html. The gross revenues for films continue to rise year by year. 82 Id. A substantial portion of Bollywood’s income comes from outside of India, namely, the United States. 83 Id. Therefore, the financial incentive for Hollywood filmmakers to enforce copyright protection is compelling.

2. What the Copying Means for Bollywood

The repercussions of copying on Bollywood relate more to damage to reputation; however, financial detriments are also integrated into the consequences. When Bollywood filmmakers and screenwriters habitually copy and imitate Hollywood movies, styles, and culture, they are effectively conceding creative inferiority. What is really unfortunate is that some Bollywood filmmakers are content with being branded unoriginal and even go so far as to embrace copying and plagiarism. 84 See Banerjee, supra note 29. Mahesh Bhatt, a prominent Bollywood director and producer, 85 See The Saraansh of Mahesh Bhatt’s Life, Times India (Jan. 13, 2003, 5:38 PM), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi-times/The-Saraansh-of-Mahesh-Bhatts-life/articleshow/34774326.cms. proclaimed: “It’s only entertainment, for God’s sake, not some high art to be worshipped with incense sticks and hymns. Films aren’t about creativity, originality or vision. They are about entertaining audiences across the board.” 86Banerjee, supra note 29 (emphasis added) (quoting Mahesh Bhatt). Director Vikram Bhatt took a rather disturbing position when he explained: “I’ll never forget what Mahesh Bhatt said. If you hide the source, you’re a genius. . . . There’s no such thing as originality in the creative sphere.” 87 Id. (quoting Vikram Bhatt).

Fortunately, not all Bollywood directors and producers embrace the call for copying and conceding lack of creative talent. Directors Amol Palekar and Kalpana Lajmi expressed disgust with the rampant copying and lack of originality. They explained:

It’s insecurity that drives people to plagiarism and not lack of material. We have a plethora of fascinating literature. It’s only blind faith that makes people believe that Hollywood is the last word in filmmaking. We neither read our classics nor do we keep in touch with our literature. We see only what stares us in the face and i.e. Hollywood with its gloss and glamour. . . . We have lost our vision and guts to experiment. We only want to see on [the] big screen what we have seen in video. New ideas are risky experiments. So all those who can make original films are home without any work. 88 Id. (quoting Kalpana Lajmi).

Continuing to make unauthorized adaptations of Hollywood films may also impede the progress of recent efforts for cooperation between Hollywood and Bollywood in the filmmaking industry. 89 See Michael Martinez & Andreena Narayan, Hollywood, Bollywood Sign Cooperation Pact, CNN (Nov. 11, 2010), http://articles.cnn.com/2010-11-11/entertainment/hollywood.bollywood_1_indian-studios-hollywood-and-bollywood-indian-production. The menacing positions on copying taken by some Bollywood directors, such as those discussed above, are likely to repulse prospective licensees or other Hollywood entities interested in venturing into the Indian entertainment business. Potential business partners are likely to be averse to the idea of investing in Bollywood when its filmmakers are disturbingly candid about their propensity and desire to commit intellectual property theft. Additionally, the recent slew of copyright infringement suits and enforcement mechanisms launched by Hollywood 90 See Blakely, supra note 26, at 33. could likely mean that the profitability of copying may no longer be so robust, thanks to litigation costs and adverse court judgments.

II. Copyright Infringement or Not?

While the discussion above demonstrates that copying is a frequent occurrence in Bollywood, the relevant inquiry for entities in Hollywood is whether any of the copying amounts to copyright infringement. Although Bollywood has had a long tradition of remaking Hollywood films, some commentators, including an academic, 91Professor Tejawini Ganti of New York University dismissed allegations laid against Bollywood for copyright infringement in her book, Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema. Ganti, supra note 15, at 74–76. a law professor, 92Professor V K Unni is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. V K Unni, IIMC Fac., http://www.iimcal.ac.in/faculty/facpage.asp?ID=unniv&tab=2 (last visited Mar. 6, 2012). He co-authored the article, Perspectives on Copyright: The ‘Karishma’ Controversy, in which he opined that Bollywood’s copying only amounts to a “perfectly legal” appropriation of unprotected Hollywood ideas. K M Gopakumar & V K Unni, Perspectives on Copyright: The ‘Karishma’ Controversy, 38 Econ. & Pol. Wkly 2935, 2935 (2003). and an intellectual property attorney, 93K M Gopakumar, an intellectual property attorney in India, joined Professor Unni in authoring Perspectives on Copyright: The ‘Karishma’ Controversy. Gopakumar & Unni, supra note 91; see also INDIA: Patenting Ayurveda, Yoga, August Ayurveda, http://www.augustayurveda.com/showarticles.asp?id=116 (last visited Mar. 6, 2012). argue that Bollywood’s remakes and copies are not unlawful. 94 See Ganti, supra note 15, at 76; Gopakumar & Unni, supra note 91, at 2936 (“[T]he action of a Bollywood screenplay writer/producer of lifting the idea from Hollywood and using creative talent to make another original expression is perfectly legal under copyright law. Such lifting may be a wrong practice from the point of morality and ethics but not in law. As a result lifting of an idea does not give rise to a cause for action under the copyright law.”). This Part deconstructs the commentators’ noninfringement arguments and reveals their flaws based on applicable copyright law doctrines. Subpart A introduces relevant general copyright laws of India and the United States. Then, Subpart A briefly explains what can be copyrighted, what a derivative work is, and what constitutes infringement. Subpart B lays out some of the common noninfringement arguments and explains how they conflict with fundamental copyright law doctrines. It also shows how some doctrines have been incorrectly applied by the Indian judiciary and provides examples of correct application. Subpart B concludes by highlighting how copyright law doctrines are favorable to Hollywood and support claims of copyright infringement against Bollywood.

A. Copyright Law in India and the United States

Copyright law doctrines in India and the United States are similar. Copyright law in India is governed by the Copyright Act of 1957. 95The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011), available at http://indiacode.nic.in. The provisions of the act protect literary, dramatic, musical, and cinematographic works, among others. 96 Id. Copyright owners enjoy exclusive rights to reproduce, perform, translate, adapt, and issue copies of their protected works. 97 Id. Similarly, in the United States, “[c]opyright protection subsists . . . in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression.” 9817 U.S.C. § 102 (2006). As in India, works of authorship available for copyright protection in the United States include literary works, musical works, and motion pictures, among others. 99 Id. § 102(a). The copyright statutes and laws in both the United States and India grant copyright protection only to the original expression of an idea—not the idea itself. 100Id. § 102(b); Anand v. Deluxe Film, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1613 (India). According to U.S. copyright law, “[i]n no case does copyright protection for an original work of authorship extend to any idea.” 10117 U.S.C. § 102 (b). Similarly, the Indian Copyright Act states that “copyright shall subsist throughout India in . . . original literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.” 102The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011) (emphasis added), available at http://indiacode.nic.in. Furthermore, the Supreme Court of India has held that “an idea . . . cannot be the subject matter of copyright. . . . It is always open to any person to choose an idea as a subject matter and develop it in his own manner and give expression to the idea by treating it differently from others.” 103Anand, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1613.

Furthermore, the copyright laws of both countries provide a copyright owner the exclusive right to prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work. 10417 U.S.C. § 103; The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011), available at http://indiacode.nic.in (providing that, although derivative works are not specifically mentioned in the Indian Copyright Act, “adaptations” are treated as derivative works). A derivative work is defined as a “work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgement, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted.” 10517 U.S.C. § 101. While the Indian Copyright Act does not mention derivative works, India is a party to the Berne Convention 106Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, opened for signature Sept. 9, 1886, as amended 1161 U.N.T.S. 3. and TRIPS, which provide copyright owners the right to prepare derivative works. 107TRIPS, supra note 28. In addition, the Indian judiciary has recognized the right to prepare derivative works. 108 See E. Book Co. v. D.B. Modak, A.I.R. 2008 S.C. 809 (India).

Because Bollywood remakes are films based on preexisting Hollywood films, many of the remakes should be considered derivative works. Some Bollywood remakes should also be considered “copies” of the underlying Hollywood films in the traditional sense, despite differences in language, because they exhibit substantial similarities to the Hollywood films. Regardless of whether the remake is deemed a derivative work or a copy, the standards for proving infringement are similar.

The two countries’ respective laws regarding copyright infringement are analogous. In the United States, to prove infringement, one must have actually copied the work of another. 109 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 520. There is no infringement if an author independently creates a work similar to a copyrighted work. 110 Id. However, direct proof of copying (e.g., eyewitness testimony) is not necessary to prove actual copying. 111 Id. Actual copying can be inferred based on substantial similarities between the accused and copyrighted works when the copyrighted work was made before the accused work and was widely available. 112 Id. Second, the accused infringer must have “appropriated sufficient protected material to violate a copyright owner’s rights.” 113 Id. The case law in India recognizes these general laws governing infringement. 114 See Anand v. Deluxe Film, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1613 (India).

B. The Noninfringement Arguments and Their Errors

Copyright infringement laws and doctrines are convoluted and full of various permutations. Therefore, given all of the subtle complexities in the law, the arguments posited by the noninfringement proponents can have some superficial appeal. Nevertheless, when these arguments are analyzed in light of the proper copyright doctrines, their flaws are evident. This Subpart outlines some of the common noninfringement arguments advocated by commentators such as Professor Ganti. First, the noninfringement arguments pertaining to the idea–expression dichotomy and related doctrines in copyright law are analyzed and deconstructed, and an example of the Indian judiciary’s failure to correctly address the dichotomy in a copyright infringement action is critiqued. Next, noninfringement arguments pertaining to substantial dissimilarities are judged in light of Indian and U.S. copyright laws and some of the policies behind the laws. This Subpart concludes by emphasizing that copyright infringement doctrines favor Hollywood plaintiffs given the nature of Bollywood’s copying techniques.

1. Drawing the Right Line Between an Idea and an Expression

As mentioned earlier, copyright protection is available only for the original expression of an idea. An idea cannot be the subject of copyright protection. A work does not infringe on a copyrighted work if it only appropriates the copyrighted work’s idea. To illustrate this concept in the abstract, imagine that a certain movie (M1) is about idea X. M1 uses A, B, and C to express idea X. A subsequent movie (M2) is also about idea X. However, M2 uses D, E, and F to express idea X. In this example, M2 does not infringe on M1 because it expresses a shared, but unprotectable, idea differently than M1. Although this concept may seem simple enough, what constitutes an idea and what constitutes an original expression is a complicated inquiry that is at the heart of the debate over whether Bollywood’s copies amount to copyright infringement.

a. The Merger Doctrine

Bollywood’s noninfringement proponents argue that Bollywood merely uses Hollywood’s ideas—not the protected expressions of the ideas. They explain:

[T]he action of a Bollywood screenplay writer/producer of lifting the idea from Hollywood and using creative talent to make another original expression is perfectly legal under copyright law. Such lifting may be a wrong practice from the point of morality and ethics but not in law. As a result[,] lifting of an idea does not give rise to a cause for [sic] action under the copyright law. 115Gopakumar & Unni, supra note 92.

Noninfringement proponents take the position that Bollywood movies are unique expressions of Hollywood ideas that fall outside the realm of copyright infringement. 116 Id.

The problem with this argument is that the noninfringement advocates effectively merge the original expressions of Hollywood films with the underlying ideas. Under the merger doctrine, when an idea merges with its expression, it renders the expression unprotectable. 117Morrissey v. Procter & Gamble, 379 F.2d 675, 678–79 (1st Cir. 1967) (“When the uncopyrightable subject matter is very narrow, so that ‘the topic necessarily requires,’ if not only one form of expression, at best only a limited number, to permit copyrighting would mean that a party or parties, by copyrighting a mere handful of forms, could exhaust all possibilities of future use of the substance. In such circumstances it does not seem accurate to say that any particular form of expression comes from the subject matter. However, it is necessary to say that the subject matter would be appropriated by permitting the copyrighting of its expression.” (citations omitted)); Servewell Products Pvt Ltd & Anr v. Dolphin, IA Nos. 383/2010 & 1119/2010 in CS(OS) 49/2010 (Delhi H.C. 2010) (India), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/272656 (“When the ‘idea’ and its ‘expression’ are thus inseparable, copying the ‘expression’ will not be barred, since protecting the ‘expression’ in such circumstances would confer a monopoly of the ‘idea’ upon the copyright owner.”). “Logically, the doctrine takes the form: ‘Categories (genuses) are unprotectable; instances (or species) are protectable.’ The game then becomes to define what is the category or genus to which the work belongs.” 118 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 462.

The lower the level of abstraction, the more likely it is that the idea will merge with the expression. The higher the level of abstraction, the more likely it is that the idea can be separated from the expression. Take the following example to illustrate this concept: A highly abstract idea—a film about an underdog defying expectations—can be expressed in countless original ways. An idea at a lower level of abstraction—a film about an underdog boxer defying expectations and becoming world champion—can also be expressed in many original ways, but in fewer ways than the generic idea of an underdog defying expectations. An idea at a much lower level of abstraction—a film about an underdog Italian–American Philadelphia club fighter who gets a shot at the heavyweight championship and falls in love with an awkwardly shy woman who works at the local pet store—can be expressed in substantially fewer original ways than the generic idea about an underdog defying expectations. As the idea continues to be defined at a lower level of abstraction, it becomes more difficult to distinguish it from the expression.

Bollywood’s noninfringement proponents characterize the ideas of Hollywood movies at a very low level of abstraction. For example, a Bollywood studio sued for copying the Hollywood movie Phone Booth, effectively defined Phone Booth’s idea as about a sniper that holds an unfaithful publicist hostage in a phone booth and demands the hostage confess his infidelity to his wife. 119Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847, ¶ 34 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf. By defining the film’s idea at such a low level of abstraction, the studio merges the idea of the movie with its protected expressions (i.e., plotlines, dialogues, scenes, character portrayals, etc.). However, defining a film’s idea in such a manner is not appropriate in the context of copyright law. The application of the merger doctrine is not appropriate in the context of films or other works that require a high level of originality. 120 Cf. Merges et al., supra note 77, at 459–62. Courts have typically used the merger doctrine to preclude copyrights on subject matter that can be expressed only in a very limited number of ways. For example, sets of rules for contests or games have been precluded from copyright protection under the merger doctrine because such rules can be expressed only by a few possibilities. 121Morrissey, 379 F.2d 675–79 (holding that a set of rules for a sweepstakes promotional contest is uncopyrightable subject matter); Mattel Inc. v. Agarwalla, IA No. 2352/2008 in CS(OS) 344/2008 (Delhi H.C. 2008) (India), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/300797 (holding that the rules for the game “Scrabble” are not eligible for copyright protection). A copyright over a set of rules would essentially amount to a monopoly over an idea, because distinguishing the expression of the rules from the idea of the rules is an exercise in futility. Therefore, noninfringement arguments that suggest Bollywood movies simply appropriate unprotectable ideas are suspect because they improperly characterize ideas so that they merge with protectable expressions.

b. Scenes à faire

A doctrine related to merger that noninfringement proponents effectively rely on is “scenes à faire.” 122According to the doctrine of scenes à faire, “incidents, characters or settings which are as a practical matter indispensable, or at least standard, in the treatment of a given topic” are not eligible for copyright protection. Atari, Inc. v. N. Am. Philips Consumer Elecs., 672 F.2d 607, 616 (7th Cir. 1982) (citation omitted). Under scenes à faire, “any ‘expressions’ that are standard, stock, or common to a particular topic are excluded from copyright protection . . . . For example, in the realm of film, certain plots are considered so common that they are no longer protectable.” 123Copyright Infringement Law, Copyright L. Center, http://www.copyright-laws.com/pgs/protect-rights.html (last visited Jan. 19, 2011). Like the application of the merger doctrine, application of scenes à faire requires toying with different levels of abstraction that can ultimately result in rendering an expression uncopyrightable because it may be “indispensable,” “standard,” or “too common” to a particular topic.

c. Indian Court Fails To Draw the Right Line Between an Idea and an Expression

Improperly characterizing the idea behind a work can lead to an erroneous finding of noninfringement. The merger and scenes à faire doctrines were improperly applied by the Kolkata High Court in Bradford v. Sahara Media Entertainment. 124Bradford v. Sahara Media Entm’t Ltd., 2004 (28) PTC 474 Cal (Calcutta H.C. 2003), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/757852. In Bradford, the English novelist Barbara Bradford 125For more information on Barbara Taylor Bradford, see Barbara’s Biography, Random House, http://www.randomhouse.com/features/bradford/bio.html (last visited Mar. 6, 2012). alleged that an Indian television series entitled Karishma—The Miracle of Destiny set for release in 2003 was an unauthorized adaptation of her novel, A Woman of Substance. 126Bradford, 2004 (28) PTC 474 Cal. The court held that Bradford did not have copyright protection over the subject matter that was common to both works because the material was “too common” to the topic at issue. 127 Id. More specifically, the court held:

[T]he plaintiff . . . has no monopoly in the idea of a poor woman making good in life, being burdened early in life with an illegitimate child, having a life long friend who is an ordinary worker, marrying an army officer, and then making a devise of her fortunes, required [sic] through a chain of stores, to her successors. It might, be the theme of ‘A Woman of Substance’, but if only this is copied, then nothing is copied. It is common to both the works, but it is too common. There can be no monopoly in something which is too common, because it would prevent free exercise of artistic skill. 128 Id. (emphasis added).

The court inappropriately characterized the idea behind Bradford’s novel at a very low level of abstraction. No copyright infringement was found because the court merged the inappropriately characterized idea behind the novel with the novel’s expression (i.e., the plotline), rendering the plotline uncopyrightable. Although the court identified a substantial number of specific components in the novel’s plot, it incredibly concluded that the plaintiff’s novel did not meet a sufficient level of originality to qualify as an original expression of an idea.

Instead of defining the novel’s idea as the novel’s plot, the court should have defined the novel’s idea more abstractly—a poor woman trying to make good in life. Had this been done, there would not have been an improper merger of idea and expression. The plot would also not have been improperly dismissed as “too common” under scenes à faire. The court’s reasoning was inapposite to both domestic and international copyright law doctrines and was likely an example of Indian judicial disdain for Western intellectual property claimants. 129 See supra Part II.B.1; infra Part III.A.

2. Arguments Regarding Dissimilarities

In addition to arguments stemming from a misunderstanding of the idea–expression dichotomy, another commonly invoked noninfringement argument is that Bollywood movies do not violate copyright law because they are vastly different from their Hollywood inspirations. Professor Ganti takes the position that “[o]nly when a writer copies an entire story or a substantial number of plots word for word from another work is copyright violated.” 130 Ganti, supra note 15, at 76. She further explains that “adaptations of Hollywood films barely [resemble the original screenplay] as they have been transformed, or ‘Indianized.’” 131The term “Indianized,” as used in the context of Bollywood remakes of Hollywood movies, refers to the addition of Indian culture, fashion, and signature Bollywood film elements, such as elaborate song-and-dance sequences that deviate from the storyline of a film and strong emotional overtones. Id. at 77. Her position, along with other noninfringement proponents, is that the insertions of song-and-dance routines, Indian culture, and Indian fashion result in a distinct and, more importantly, lawful film creation. 132 Id. at 75–76; see also Gopakumar & Unni, supra note 91.

Despite the appeal in identifying Indianized Bollywood remakes as distinct and unique works, copyright law does not exculpate such remakes from copyright infringement as easily as some of Bollywood’s noninfringement proponents argue. Both U.S. and Indian copyright laws refute the notion that there is no violation of copyright when only a small portion of a film is adapted or when a remake contains substantial dissimilarities and additions. 133 See Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., 81 F.2d 49 (2d Cir. 1936); Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf. In the United States, policy concerns about providing plagiarists a conduit for escaping liability have led courts to hold that a copyright owner’s rights are not limited only to the literal text of a work. 134Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp., 45 F.2d 119, 121 (2d Cir. 1930) (“It is of course essential to any protection of literary property, whether at common-law or under the statute, that the right cannot be limited literally to the text, else a plagiarist would escape by immaterial variations.”). Furthermore, the legislative history of § 106 of the U.S. Copyright Act provides that a copyrighted work is infringed “by reproducing it in whole or in any substantial part, and by duplicating it exactly or by imitation or simulation. Wide departures or variations from the copyrighted works would still be an infringement as long as the author’s ‘expression’ rather than merely the author’s ‘ideas’ are taken.” 135 H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 61 (1976) (emphasis added).

Various tests have been adopted by U.S. courts for determining what constitutes an improper appropriation of an author’s expression. 136For example, in the sliding scale and virtual identity test, courts require a high degree of similarity when the copyrighted work embodies limited creative expression and less similarity when the copyrighted work embodies a high degree of creative expression. See generally Incredible Techs., Inc. v. Virtual Techs., Inc., 400 F.3d 1007 (7th Cir. 2005). For example, according to the “objective and subjective” test, the plaintiff’s work is first deconstructed into the objective components of creativity (i.e., plots, themes, dialogue, characters, etc.) to determine what components are subject to copyright protection. 137Shaw v. Lindheim, 919 F.2d 1353, 1357–58 (9th Cir. 1990). The second part of the test asks the trier of fact to subjectively determine whether the defendant’s work improperly copies any of the protected creative components. 138 Id. The objective and subjective test is similar to the “lay observer” test used by Indian courts. 139Id. (“Indian copyright laws resemble American copyright laws.”); Desai, supra note 4, at 264. In the lay observer test, a determination of substantial similarity is made from the perspective of an ordinary person who has viewed both works. 140 Shaw, 919 F.2d at 1357–58.

In determining how much must be taken to amount to an improper appropriation, the copyright owner is not obliged to “prove that all or nearly all of his or her work has been appropriated to establish infringement.” 141 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 532. Contrary to the copyright theories advocated by noninfringement proponents, “[e]ven a small amount of the original, if it is qualitatively significant, may be sufficient to be an infringement.” 142Horgan v. Macmillan, Inc., 789 F.2d 157, 162 (2d Cir. 1986) (emphasis added).

The significance of dissimilarities and the meaning of qualitatively significant copying are key issues in “fragmented literal similarity” cases. 143Fragmented literal similarity refers to when a “defendant has copied distinct literal elements of the plaintiff’s work and incorporated them into a larger work of his or her own.” Merges et al., supra note 76, at 532. Some Bollywood remakes fall in the realm of fragmented literal similarity. Nimmer on Copyright provides guidance in determining infringement in fragmented literal similarity cases:

The question in each case is whether the similarity relates to matter that constitutes a substantial portion of plaintiff’s work—not whether such material constitutes a substantial portion of defendant’s work. . . . The quantitative relation of the similar material to the total material contained in plaintiff’s work is certainly of importance. However, even if the similar material is quantitatively small, if it is qualitatively important the trier of fact may properly find substantial similarity. . . . In general under such circumstances, the defendant may not claim immunity on the grounds that the infringement ‘is such a little one.’ If, however, the similarity is only as to nonessential matters, then a finding of no substantial similarity should result. 144 4 Melville B. Nimmer & David Nimmer, Nimmer on Copyright §13.03[A][2][a] (2011) (emphasis added) (citations omitted).

a. Fragmented Literal Similarity and How Dissimilarities Do Not Automatically Vindicate

The Indian judiciary was recently presented with the issue of improper appropriation in a fragmented literal similarity case in Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entertainment. 145Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf. Sohail was accused of unlawfully copying and remaking Twentieth Century’s 2002 thriller Phone Booth. 146 Id. ¶ 1.Phone Booth is premised around a sniper that holds an unfaithful publicist hostage in a phone booth and demands that the publicist confess his infidelity to his wife. 147 Id. ¶ 12. The sniper toys with his hostage and threatens to kill the hostage if he does not obey the sniper’s commands. 148 Id. The accused film, Knock Out, is also premised around a sniper that holds an unfaithful man hostage in a phone booth. 149 Id. However, Knock Out incorporates a political conspiracy plot into the script along with song-and-dance sequences. 150Id. ¶ 16.

The court rejected the defendant’s argument that Knock Out does not infringe because of the various dissimilarities and distinct additions. 151 Id. ¶ 31. Citing Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., 152Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., 81 F.2d 49 (2d Cir. 1936). the court said “it is enough that substantial parts were lifted; no playwright can excuse wrong for showing how much of his work he did not pirate.” 153Twentieth Century, 1 NM-2847, ¶ 27 (internal quotations omitted). The court noted that the defendant was free to “exhibit or broadcast such dis-similar work,” however, such dissimilarities did not exculpate the defendant of copyright infringement for the substantial similarities. 154 Id. ¶ 12. The court also rejected the defendant’s argument that their film does not infringe because only a small portion of the plaintiff’s film was appropriated. 155 See id. ¶ 31. The defendant argued that the subject matter at issue was trivial with respect to the film as a whole. 156 Id. ¶ 30. The court held that under the objective lay person test, the substantially similar subject matter was qualitatively significant to both the plaintiff’s and defendant’s works. 157 Id. ¶¶ 28–29. Contrary to the arguments of noninfringement proponents, the court held that copyright infringement could be found even when a small part is substantially similar to the copyrighted work. 158 See id. ¶¶ 22, 28–31. The court concluded that Knock Out did infringe on Phone Booth. 159 Id. ¶¶ 33–35. Furthermore, in determining the threshold for infringement, the court’s reasoning was in accord with the infringement guidelines on fragmented literal similarity. 160 See id. ¶¶ 28–31. The court noted that “it is the quality of the copied work and not the quantity that would determine infringement of the work or substantial part thereof.” 161 Id. ¶ 22.

Applying this holding to Professor Ganti’s Cape Fear example, despite the “vast differences” in plot and characters in the Bollywood remake, the dissimilarities and additions do not necessarily preclude a finding of infringement. 162 See supra Part I.B; Ganti, supra note 15, at 75. If substantial similarity exists between the storm-swept boat scenes, and the scene is qualitatively significant, the remake, despite its differences and Indianized components, may still be an infringing work.

The discussion above demonstrates that the commonly invoked noninfringement arguments are grounded in misconceptions about the idea–expression dichotomy and delusions about how Indianization exculpates Bollywood of infringement. Given the nature and extent of Bollywood’s copying, 163 See supra Part I.B. Hollywood should take notice of the fact that there is ample legal room for it to pursue actionable claims of copyright infringement against Bollywood imitators.

III. Enforcement of Hollywood Copyrights in India and Recent Developments

Although the nature of Bollywood’s copying and the laws governing such behavior provide Hollywood with actionable claims of infringement, proper enforcement of intellectual property laws is contingent upon the willingness of plaintiffs to bring suit and the willingness of the Indian judiciary to objectively apply the laws. Part III discusses issues concerning the enforcement of Hollywood’s copyrights in India and how recent changes in the copyright dynamic of India have spelled success for Hollywood plaintiffs. Subpart A addresses why, despite having the force of law in its favor, Hollywood has not brought many legal actions against Bollywood infringers. Reasons related to lack of notice, procedure, cost, ineffective copyright enforcement, and judicial hostility are discussed in the context of underlying policies. Subpart B elaborates on the incidents of Indian judicial prejudice against Westerners and contends that Hollywood was unsuccessful in its initial efforts to find remedies through the Indian legal system because of judicial prejudice. First, this Subpart cites examples of the Indian judiciary’s hostility toward Westerners and its economic biases. Next, Hollywood’s initial failures to find redress through the Indian legal system are discussed against the backdrop of Indian judicial prejudice. Subpart C highlights how recent changes in Hollywood’s interests and the intellectual property dynamic of India have resulted in favorable outcomes for Hollywood. This Part concludes by predicting that Hollywood’s recent success in enforcing its copyrights will likely result in a marked increase in the number of international intellectual property related claims in India.

A. Why Hollywood Has Not Laid Down the Law on Bollywood

One of the reasons why Hollywood took little action against Bollywood in the past is because it was largely unaware of the copying. Prior to the twenty-first century, news about Hollywood taking legal action against Bollywood studios was generally unheard of. Hollywood’s response to unauthorized remakes typically ranged from ignorance to apathy. 164See Desai, supra note 4, 259–60. Before South Asians began immigrating to the United States and Europe, Bollywood’s influence in the entertainment business was largely confined to the South-Asian subcontinent and, to a smaller extent, former Soviet republics and Middle Eastern countries. 165Vijay Mishra, Bollywood Cinema: A Critical Genealogy 7 (Asian Inst., Working Paper No. 20, 2006), available at www.victoria.ac.nz/slc/asi/publications/17-bollywood.pdf (“There has been an overseas market for Indian popular cinema from at least the early ‘30s, largely in the old Indian diaspora, but also in the Middle East, parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Soviet Union. In the western world, including white settler states, it is safe to say that Indian cinema for a long while did not exist and that the market for it was absent.”). Therefore, given Bollywood’s limited audience, Hollywood had little notice of any unauthorized remakes.

Although Hollywood is now far more cognizant of Bollywood’s copying, it must still overcome procedural hurdles while being mindful of international policy considerations. 166 See generally Jane L. Volz & Roger S. Haydock, Foreign Arbitral Awards: Enforcing the Award Against the Recalcitrant Loser, 21 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 867 (1996). While some Hollywood studios have sought protection of their works against foreign infringement by filing suit in India, such an option may not be available to all unless essential conditions of international copyright law are satisfied. 167 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 718–19. Further, comity principles and diplomatic policy considerations call for restraint in aggressive litigation when it may interfere with the sovereignty interests of other countries or state relations. 168 Id.

Some Hollywood studios are disinterested because the revenues generated by the Indian entertainment industry pale in comparison to Hollywood’s revenues. 169 See Kripalani & Grover, supra note 18. If favorable judgments are awarded, they may be trivial in comparison to international litigation costs. 170 Barton Legum, International Litigation Strategies and Practice 41 (2005). It should be noted however, that Bollywood’s heightened popularity and projected earnings growth have garnered the interest of multiple Hollywood studios in recent years and may convince others in Hollywood to follow. 171 See Blakely, supra note 26, at 33.

Another reason explaining the dearth of Hollywood legal actions against Bollywood is poor copyright law enforcement in India. Part of the reason for this ineffective enforcement is the paucity of India’s administrative resources. 172Guha, supra note 34, at 241. Looking at judicial costs comparatively, the United States spends approximately 1.7% of its annual federal budget on its judiciary system. 173 Id. India on the other hand, spends approximately 0.27% of its budget on its judiciary system. 174 Id. Furthermore, legal attitudes toward copyright infringement in India are also different. The attitude is that “[i]n the context of filmmaking, copyright laws in India are called upon primarily to protect the distribution and circulation of films and music from piracy,” not on protecting U.S. films from unauthorized remakes. 175 Ganti, supra note 15, at 76. The paucity of resources combined with legal attitudes prioritizing combating piracy over other forms of infringement helps explain why there have been few legal responses to unauthorized Hollywood remakes in India. 176 See Bradford v. Sahara Media Entm’t Ltd., 2004 (28) PTC 474 Cal (Calcutta H.C. 2003), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/757852 (noting that Indian intellectual property law is “singularly devoid of reported decisions in copyright actions, at least up to the present day”).

India’s natural desire to continue its economic growth and nurture its industries free of interference from foreign interests has also been presented as a reason for ineffective intellectual property enforcement. 177Guha, supra note 34, at 248–52. India desires “to nurture and protect infant domestic industries from larger, better-funded and better organized foreign competitors, and this desire leads to conflicts with the entreaties of foreign governments and businesses for better [intellectual property rights] protection.” 178 Id. at 244–45.

Finally, Hollywood may be deterred from invoking the Indian judiciary to punish Bollywood because developing countries like India may house a general feeling of disdain against more powerful Western complainants. 179 Id. at 240. One commentator explains:

Few things touch the delicate nerve of national sovereignty more than the autonomous capacity of states to administer their domestic laws in conformity with their own legal philosophies. States that have only recently achieved economic and political independence will especially resent other, more powerful states sitting in judgment of the way they exercise their sovereignty in this respect. 180J.H. Reichman, Enforcing the Enforcement Procedures of the TRIPS Agreement, 37 Va. J. Int’l L. 335, 339–40 (1997).

B. Indian Judicial Prejudice and Its Consequences on Hollywood

The Indian judicial forum also houses a certain degree of contempt for Western complainants. This Subpart first identifies incidents of Indian judicial prejudice and economic biases that have harmed the intellectual property interests of Westerners. It then takes note of several unsuccessful Hollywood attempts to enforce its intellectual property through the Indian legal system and contends that Hollywood was unsuccessful in its initial efforts because of judicial bias.

1. Prejudicial Incidents

Indian judicial disdain for Western claimants and economic protectionist policies likely played a role in the Kolkata High Court’s scathing dismissal of Barbara Bradford’s copyright infringement suit over her novel. 181Bradford, (28) PTC 474 Cal. Prior to Twentieth Century’s suit against BR Films in 2009, 182Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. BR Films, NMS/1561/2009 (Bombay H.C. 2010) (unreported consent order), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2009/NMS156109050809.pdf. the Bradford case was recognized as one of the most aggressive attempts of copyright enforcement by a Western artist in India. 183 Author Loses India Plagiarism Case, BBC News (July 21, 2003, 3:00 PM), http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3084401.stm. Although an injunction was ordered by a lower court preventing the airing of Karishma (the Indian television series alleged to have infringed on Bradford’s novel), the Kolkata High Court vacated the injunction. 184Bradford, (28) PTC 474 Cal. The court’s contempt for the English novelist and bias in favor of the domestic defendant can be inferred from its dismissal of Bradford’s claim under a grossly deviant application of idea–expression copyright principles. 185 See supra Part II.B.1.iii.

In a rather harsh and scathing dismissal, Justices Ray and Banerjee held that “the scanty materials of the plaintiffs brought to light so far, do not get the case of infringement of copyright off the ground even one millimetre.” 186Bradford, (28) PTC 474 Cal. Furthermore, the court imposed upon the plaintiffs “both costs for the Court below and before us as well as damages for every week of delay of telecast which the respondents have suffered because of the wrongful order of injunction obtained.” 187 Id. Barbara Bradford was fined close to $3,000 for every week Karishma was delayed from airing as a result of the injunction order. 188 Id. Although the Supreme Court of India reversed the award for damages on appeal, the finding of noninfringement was affirmed. 189 Author Loses India TV Appeal, BBC News (Aug. 4, 2003, 2:11 PM), http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3123315.stm.

The Indian judiciary’s economic protectionist policies in favor of Bollywood can also be inferred from the Kolkata High Court’s decision in Shree Venkatesh Films v. Vipul Amrutlal Shah. 190Shree Venkatesh Films Pvt Ltd v. Vipul Amrutlal Shah (Calcutta H.C. 2009), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1286774. In Shree Venkatesh Films, the makers of the Bollywood film, Namaste London, successfully sued the makers of a Bengali 191Bengali is an Indo–Aryan language native to eastern South Asia. See E. Annamalai, Contexts of Multilingualism, in Language in South Asia 223, 223–34 (Braj B. Kachru et al. eds., 2008). film entitled Poran Jaye Joliya Rae for copyright infringement. 192Shree Venkatesh Films, available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1286774. Bengali films are colloquially known in India as cinema of “Tollywood” because Bengali film studios are based in Tollygunge, Kolkata. 193 Aswin Punathambekar, Global Bollywood 24 (Anandam Kavoori ed., 2008). Tollywood movies operate on a much smaller budget and generate far less revenue than their more powerful Bollywood cousins. 194 Id. at 79–95. They also appeal to a much smaller audience, primarily Bengali speakers. 195 Id.

The Kolkata High Court upheld a finding of prima facie infringement without providing much analysis. 196Shree Venkatesh Films, available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1286774. The court’s bias in favor of the more powerful Indian entertainment entity can be inferred from the fact that the court applied idea–expression principles to this case in stark contrast to the way it did in Bradford. In fact, the court made no mention of Bradford or the rigorous standards of infringement the court vehemently articulated in that case. 197 Id. Further, unlike Bradford, here the court characterized the idea in the Bollywood movie at a very high level of abstraction. Had the court in this case applied the idea–expression principles as it did in Bradford, the Bollywood movie would have been rendered uncopyrightable.

2. Hollywood’s Initial Legal Actions Impeded by Prejudice

The above examples of judicial bias have affected Hollywood’s enforcement efforts. Hollywood’s first attempts to enforce its copyrights against Bollywood copycats were hampered by judicial prejudice and economic bias sometimes masked in the form procedural impediments. For example, in 2005, Twentieth Century Fox sued Zee Telefilms in the Delhi High Court for copyright infringement. 198 Zee Dragged to Court on ‘Time Bomb,’ Hindu (Jun. 18, 2005), http://www.hindu.com/2005/06/18/stories/2005061817630300.htm. Twentieth Century alleged that Time Bomb, a television series produced by Zee, was an unlawful remake of Twentieth Century’s popular television series 24. 199 Id. Representatives of Zee had met with Fox to negotiate purchasing the rights to 24; however, Fox was reportedly not interested in selling. 200 Id. Zee continued with the production of Time Bomb and was hit with a lawsuit before the show’s scheduled premiere. 201 Id. Twentieth Century moved for an injunction preventing Time Bomb from airing. 202Status of Cases, High Ct. Delhi, http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhc_case_status_list_new.asp (last visited Feb. 20, 2012). Despite their timely efforts to obtain injunctive relief, Time Bomb aired on June 20, 2005. 203 Zee Dragged to Court on ‘Time Bomb,’ supra note 198. Due to a series of adjournments and procedural complications concerning joinder, the Delhi High Court has not yet heard the case. 204In the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi, High Ct. Delhi (June 17, 2005), http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=6365&yr=2005. A decision at this point would likely be moot since Time Bomb went off the air after a single season. 205Time Bomb 9/11 (TV Serial), Connect.in.com, http://connect.in.com/time-bomb-911-tv-serial/biography-542684.html (last visited Feb. 20, 2012).

In 2007, following Twentieth Century’s unsuccessful suit in Delhi, Overbrook Entertainment, along with Sony Pictures, contemplated a $30 million lawsuit against the producers of Partner (2007), a Bollywood remake of Sony’s comedy Hitch (2005). 206Sonali Krishna, Partner May Face $30 Million Hitch, Econ. Times (Aug. 8, 2007, 3:47 AM), http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Partner_may_face_30_mn_Hitch/articleshow/2264000.cms. Although cease-and-desist letters were sent to the makers of Partner, talks of a lawsuit soon faded. 207Elizabeth Flock, Forbes India: Who Will Bell the Copycat, IBN Live (July 22, 2009, 2:56 PM), http://ibnlive.in.com/news/forbes-india-who-will-bell-the-copycat/97669-8.html. Although the case never went to trial, Sony “acquired the global exclusive satellite broadcasting rights of Partner.” Id. Sony likely did not file suit because, at the time, Bradford was the only case where an Indian court had had the opportunity to hear copyright infringement charges from foreign entities. 208 See Bradford v. Sahara Media Entm’t Ltd., 2004 (28) PTC 474 Cal (Calcutta H.C. 2003), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/757852. Because Bradford screamed bias, finding an objective forum in India to bring charges would have seemed unlikely.

Finally, in 2008, following the failure of Twentieth Century and the inhibitions of Sony, Warner Brothers tried its luck with India’s biased judiciary to no avail. Warner Brothers sued Mirchi Movies for trademark infringement of its Harry Potter franchise. 209Warner Bros. Entm’t Inc. v. Kohli, (2008) 9600 I.A. 1607, available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/395839. Mirchi Movies was set to release Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors in the fall of 2008. 210 Id. ¶ 4. The Delhi High Court dismissed Warner Brothers’ suit, noting that “Hari” is a common name in India and that “Puttar” means son in Punjabi. 211 Id. Punjabi is an Indo–Aryan language native to the Punjab region of South Asia. Annamalai, supra note 191, at 223–34. The court held that “in the local language and dialect ‘Hari Puttar’ is not readily associated with ‘Harry Potter.’” 212Warner Bros., 9600 I.A. 1607, ¶ 21. The court also noted that aside from the similarities in the titles, Hari Puttar is “completely different to the Harry Potter books or films which are fictional thrillers with a high quotient of magic thrown in.” 213 Id. ¶ 11. Further, the court chastised Warner Brothers for the amount of time it took to file suit against Mirchi Movies. 214 Id. ¶ 30. The Delhi High Court decision suggested that the Indian judiciary would not be a successful venue for U.S. entities seeking remedies for intellectual property infringement.

C. Recent Favorable Developments for Hollywood and Its Copyrights

Despite the uncertainty and all of the judicial opposition, some Hollywood studios, most notably Twentieth Century Fox, decided to invest more in their efforts to protect their intellectual property from Bollywood misuse. In 2009, two major Hollywood studios retained the services of Lall & Sethi, 215Blakely, supra note 26, at 33. a prominent Indian intellectual property law firm with offices across the South-Asian subcontinent. 216 Lall & Sethi, http://www.indiaip.com (last visited Feb. 20, 2012). Chander Lall, senior partner at Lall & Sethi, sent a slew of cease-and-desist letters to Bollywood studios seeking to remake several blockbuster Hollywood hits such as Ghostbusters, Jerry Maguire, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Departed, and The Hangover. 217Blakely, supra note 26, at 33. The efficacy of the cease-and-desist correspondence seemed unpromising because of the lack of a strong judicial mandate in favor of Hollywood from the Indian courts.

In the spring of 2009, Twentieth Century Fox took the bold initiative to supplant its cease-and-desist strategy by actually filing suit for copyright infringement in the Bombay High Court. 218Vyas, supra note 6. Twentieth Century alleged that an Indian courtroom comedy, Banda Yeh Bindas Hai (This Guy Is Fearless), by BR Films was an unlawful remake of Twentieth Century’s 1992 hit My Cousin Vinny. 219Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. BR Films, NMS/1561/2009 (Bombay H.C. 2010) (unreported consent order), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2009/NMS156109050809.pdf. Twentieth Century originally sought $1.4 million in damages. 220Flock, supra note 207. The case received substantial coverage from both the Indian and American entertainment news media, because it was the first time a major Hollywood studio brought legal action against a major Bollywood film studio for copying a Hollywood movie. 221 See Emily Wax, Paying the Price for Hollywood Remakes, Wash. Post (Aug. 26, 2009), http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/25/AR2009082503104.html?hpid=topnews; Vyas, supra note 6. BR Films denied infringement, claiming that they received the rights from Twentieth Century for the remake. 222 Bollywood Copy Case ‘Is Settled,’ supra note 10. Twentieth Century said that “no terms were agreed [to].” 223 Id.

In August 2009, BR agreed to settle with Twentieth Century for $200,000. 224 Id. Although a judicial finding of infringement may have served as a stronger statement to copycat Bollywood studios, the settlement was nevertheless significant because “[i]t was the first time a Bollywood studio had been forced to pay out for borrowing from Hollywood.” 225 Id. Several commentators speculated that the settlement might mean the beginning of the end of Bollywood’s tradition of copying with impunity. 226 See Anupreeta Das, Bollywood to Plagiarism: Bye Bye?, Reuters (Aug. 26, 2009), http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2009/08/26/bollywood-to-plagiarism-bye-bye.

Twentieth Century’s assault on Bollywood did not end with a mere settlement agreement. In late 2010, Twentieth Century filed another infringement lawsuit against the Bollywood production company, Sohail Maklai Entertainment. 227Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf. Twentieth Century alleged Sohail’s film, Knock Out, set for release in late October 2010, was an unlawful remake of Twentieth Century’s 2002 thriller, Phone Booth. 228 Id. ¶ 2. This time, however, no settlement agreement was reached and the Bombay High Court issued an opinion on October 14, 2010 after hearing arguments from both parties. 229 See generally id.

The court found that the defendant’s film, Knock Out, did amount to an infringement of Phone Booth under the Indian Copyright Act. 230 Id. ¶ 35. The court’s opinion regarding the idea–expression dichotomy and the scope of what is protected by copyright differed from the Kolkata court’s anti-Western opinion in Bradford. Unlike in Bradford, the court in Sohail did not engage in an unreasonable manipulation of the idea–expression, merger, and scenes à faire doctrines. 231 Id. ¶ 27. Due to the dearth of good copyright case law in India, the court relied on U.S. copyright cases in its analysis. 232 Id. The court concluded: “There is little doubt that a person seeing both the films at different times would come to the unmistakable conclusion that the Defendants film is a copy of [Phone Booth].” 233 Id. ¶ 29. The court awarded Twentieth Century injunctive relief until Sohail Entertainment paid $340,000 in damages. 234 Ramachandran, supra note 12. Twentieth Century was also awarded a portion of Knock Out’s box office revenues. 235Id. Twentieth Century’s victory marked “the first time that an Indian court has ruled that Bollywood infringed a Hollywood copyright.” 236 Id.

Given the recent success of Twentieth Century Fox in Indian courts, a marked increase in the volume of copyright infringement claims from international plaintiffs would not be surprising. The media attention the cases garnered is sure to put copycat directors on notice that the days of copying with impunity may be over. The Bollywood directors that only a few years ago defiantly boasted their practice of stealing intellectual property to reporters are sure to be considerably less candid in their future interviews.

IV. An International Agreement That Deters Infringement and Enhances Growth and Cooperation Between Hollywood and Bollywood

Although recent developments in Indian copyright law suggest that Hollywood may now be able to successfully find remedies for copyright infringement through Indian courts, litigation may not be the optimal solution to ending Bollywood’s copying. Part IV suggests a broad international agreement between major film entertainment entities in Hollywood and Bollywood aimed at deterring unauthorized copying as a solution. Such an agreement would also have the added benefits of increasing dialogue between Hollywood and Bollywood and promoting cooperation between the two entertainment powerhouses. First, Subpart A discusses why Hollywood would not find the international intellectual property enforcement mechanism under TRIPS an effective tool for enforcing its copyrights. Finally, Subpart B proposes a contractual agreement between Hollywood and Bollywood that incorporates some of the procedures of the dispute resolution mechanism in TRIPS and provides for remedial relief procedures. This Subpart explains why the agreement would be beneficial to improving relations between both industries and promoting future cooperation.

A. Why TRIPS Is of Little Use to Hollywood

The United States and India are both parties to TRIPS. 237TRIPS, supra note 28. The aim of TRIPS is to set minimum international legal standards on matters related to copyrights, patents, and trademarks. 238 Id. All member countries are obliged to enforce a set of agreed-upon intellectual property rights. 239 Id. art. 1. TRIPS requires all members to afford all authors (both domestic and foreign) the same protections offered to the “authors from the ‘most favored nation.’” 240 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 717–18. TRIPS also adopts all the requirements of the Berne Convention, 241 Id. including the provisions that require that “member nations afford exclusive rights to make and authorize translation, reproduction, public performance, and adaptation of their works.” 242 Id. at 717. Although subject to substantial criticism for inadequate enforcement, 243 See Desai, supra note 4, at 260–63. India’s intellectual property laws are compliant with the minimum provisions set forth in TRIPS. 244Id. at 263–64.

While national enforcement standards are not uniform, there are detailed enforcement mechanisms in place in the event of disputes between member countries. The enforcement mechanisms of TRIPS provide for a “Dispute Settlement Understanding” (“DSU”). 245 TRIPS, supra note 28, art. 64. The DSU may be appealing because it sets forth a timetable for resolution. “[A] typical case, including appeals, should take no more than fifteen months.” 246Desai, supra note 4, at 262. Such a timeframe is certainly an advantage to the Indian judiciary given the system’s backlogs and delays. 247 See Courts Will Take 320 Years To Clear Backlog Cases: Justice Rao, Times India (Mar. 6, 2010, 6:05 PM), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Courts-will-take-320-years-to-clear-backlog-cases-Justice-Rao/articleshow/5651782.cms.

The process of invoking the DSU begins with a consultation between the countries home to the parties in dispute. 248TRIPS, supra note 28, art. 64. The provisions for invoking the DSU do not allow Hollywood to directly bring a cause of action under TRIPS. 249 See id. Hollywood must convince the U.S. government to intervene on its behalf. 250 See id. If the consultation fails to yield an agreeable solution, a panel comprising of members from a “Dispute Settlement Body” is appointed to hear the claims. 251 Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, Annex 2 art. 2, done Apr. 15, 1994, 1867 U.N.T.S. 3. The panel hears arguments, collects evidence, and issues a report that functions as a ruling. 252 Id. art. 11. Countries may appeal the ruling to an appellate body. 253 Id. art. 1. The losing country is given a specific time frame to cure the defects in their intellectual property laws or potentially face sanctions such as punitive tariffs. 254 TRIPS, supra note 28, art. 59.

The DSU enforcement mechanism under TRIPS is of little use to Hollywood because it would be difficult for Hollywood to convince the United States to bring a dispute over Bollywood’s copying unless there was a uniform problem of Bollywood studios infringing with impunity under Indian law. Recent Indian copyright case law in favor of Hollywood shows that not all Bollywood studios infringe with impunity. Dispute settlement typically addresses broad issues like a country’s inadequate intellectual property statutory protections. 255Desai, supra note 4, at 261–63. India’s statutory protections meet all the requirements of TRIPS. 256 Id. at 263–64. Therefore, unless India’s copyright laws deteriorate to a point below minimum international standards, Hollywood has little use for TRIPS.

B. A Hollywood–Bollywood Agreement That Solves the Problem of Unauthorized Copying

Instead of arguing in court or trying to convince their respective host states to intervene under TRIPS, Hollywood and Bollywood should come to the negotiation table and outline an agreement that deters unauthorized copying. Notwithstanding Twentieth Century’s recent victory in its infringement case against a copycat Bollywood studio, a drawback to filing infringement suits in the courts of India is that the lawsuits are likely to sour relations between Hollywood and Bollywood and discourage cooperation. The two industries have recently indicated their intentions to improve relations and promote cooperation. 257 See Martinez & Narayan, supra note 89. Repeated litigation over every incident of actionable infringement will likely set back relations between Hollywood and Bollywood.

The agreement should outline acceptable and unacceptable forms of film adaptations and remakes. The parties to the agreement should be major Hollywood and Bollywood film studios along with trade organizations such as the Motion Picture Association of America (“MPAA”) and its international counterparts. Despite Hollywood being unlikely to find relief through TRIPS, the TRIPS model for resolving intellectual property disputes should be emulated in some form when devising an international agreement between Hollywood and Bollywood. The pact should provide for a binding dispute resolution mechanism, similar to the DSU under TRIPS. 258TRIPS, supra note 28. A panel comprising of members of the MPAA can function to mediate and resolve allegations of infringement and plagiarism. Because U.S. and Indian copyright laws are similar and have analogous standards for finding infringement, determining what laws should apply is not likely to be a hurdle when negotiating contractual provisions. Also, because both countries are parties to TRIPS, the copyright laws agreed to in TRIPS can be used to govern the agreement.

The panel should also be conferred powers to determine and order appropriate remedies. Authoritative powers to order injunctive relief, monetary damages, reasonable royalties, and compulsory licenses should be granted to the mediating body. A grant of such authority will substantiate the agreement’s legitimacy.

The idea of having the two entertainment powerhouses enter into an agreement addressing the issues of remakes and adaptations is both plausible and feasible in light of two recent coalitions Hollywood and Bollywood have entered into. First, in March 2010, “the two industries came together in Mumbai to launch the Alliance Against Copyright Theft (“AACT”), a Bollywood–Hollywood content protection coalition in India.” 259A S Mitra, Hollywood Formalizes Pact with Bollywood, bollywoodtrade.com (Nov. 11, 2010, 12:29 PM), http://www.bollywoodtrade.com/trade-news/hollywood-formalizes-pact-with-bollywood/index.htm. The ACCT was founded by Reliance Big Entertainment, UTV Motion Pictures, Eros International, and the Motion Picture Distribution Association (representing six major Hollywood studios). 260 Why AACT?, Alliance Against Copyright Theft, http://www.aact.in/WhyAACT.php (last visited Feb. 31, 2012). According to its official website, the AACT “is an initiative to address piracy in India—launched jointly between the Hindi and Hollywood studios.” 261 Id.

In November 2010, entities in Hollywood and Bollywood signed a “historic cooperation pact.” 262Mitra, supra note 259. A press release from the MPAA announced that “[a]fter several years of co-productions and joint investment, the two most prominent global film industries came together today for the signing of an historic declaration between the city of Los Angeles and the Indian film industry at Paramount Pictures Studios in Hollywood.” 263 Id. The agreement is aimed at “develop[ing] and strengthen[ing] motion picture production, distribution, technology, content protection and commercial cooperation between the two filmmaking communities.” 264 Id. Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa and Paramount Picture Chairman and CEO Brad Grey were among the guests in attendance in support of the “strategic partnership.” 265 Id.

Conclusion

A contractual agreement aimed at addressing the legality of unauthorized remakes may encounter reluctance from Bollywood entities that would much rather continue copying with impunity. However, the recent coalitions Bollywood entered into with Hollywood suggest Bollywood is serious about enforcing its own copyrights from the growing threat of piracy and in improving relations with Hollywood. Bollywood should recognize that entering into an agreement that serves to protect intellectual property interests will help it carry out its recent intentions to improve and develop better relations with Hollywood. Such an agreement will also limit litigation costs and diminish Bollywood’s likelihood of being tied up in court fighting contentious lawsuits. Bollywood has much to gain from ending its copycat ways. The industry’s appeal is no longer limited to the South-Asian subcontinent. 266 See Wadhwani, supra note 22. Bollywood’s international appeal is on the rise. The success of recent movies pertaining to South-Asian themes and culture such as Slumdog Millionaire and Bend It Like Beckham, while not Bollywood productions, have helped Bollywood receive more international attention. 267 See Jyothi Prabhakar, B’wood Waking Up to Copyright Infringement, Times India (May 16, 2009, 12:19 AM), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Bwood-waking-up-to-copyright-infringement/articleshow/4533917.cms (“[W]hat Slumdog’s success did was . . . to make the big daddies of Hollywood curious about the ‘Bollywood type’ of movies. They began . . . to watch Bollywood films. . . . They realised that not some . . . but far too many [Bollywood] films were scene-by-scene rip-offs of their films.”). Therefore, Bollywood’s reputation and viewership among international audiences will benefit from original scripts and productions. Originality will ultimately lead Bollywood to greater revenues than copying does.

Footnotes

1 My Cousin Vinny (Palo Vista Productions 1992); My Cousin Vinny, Internet Movie Database, http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0104952 (last visited Apr. 13, 2012).

2 My Cousin Vinny, supra note 1; My Cousin Vinny, supra note 1.

3 See Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai: Stuck in Copyright Row, Release on Hold for Multiplex Stir, The Indian Express (May 21, 2009, 3:35 AM), http://www.indianexpress.com/news/banda-yeh-bindaas-hai-stuck-in-copyright-row-release-on-hold-for-multiplex-stir/463253/0.

4For an overview of the structure of Indian courts, see Rachana Desai, Note, Copyright Infringement in the Indian Film Industry, 7 Vand. J. Ent. L. & Prac. 259, 265 (2005). For the history of the Bombay High Court, see History of High Court of Bombay, High Ct. Bombay, http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in (last visited Feb. 13, 2012).

5In 1996, the city known as “Bombay” was renamed “Mumbai.” The high court in Mumbai, however, retained the name “Bombay.” History of MCGM, Mun. Corp. Greater Mumbai, http://www.mcgm.gov.in/irj/portal/anonymous?NavigationTarget=navurl://d20cb3d618ee8cb6c3a780df7c58030c (last visited Feb. 13, 2012).

6 See Hetal Vyas, Stay Order, Mumbai Mirror (June 16, 2009, 3:35 AM), http://www.mumbaimirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=30&contentid=2009061620090616033535477288d7b5d (“This is the first time that a Hollywood film studio has taken a Bollywood filmmaker to court over remaking their film.”).

7See id.

8 Id.

9 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. BR Films & ANR, NMS/1561/2009 (Bombay H.C. 2010) (unreported consent order), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2009/NMS156109050809.pdf.

10 Id.; see also Bollywood Copy Case ‘Is Settled,’ BBC News, (Aug. 7, 2009, 1:47 PM), http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/8189667.stm.

11Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf.

12 Id. ¶¶ 33–36; see also Naman Ramachandran, Fox Wins Partial Ruling on Bollywood Remake, Variety, (Oct. 15, 2010, 4:00 AM), http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118025734.

13Ramachandran, supra note 12 (“The judgment marks the first time that an Indian court has ruled that Bollywood infringed a Hollywood copyright.”).

14 See Neelam Sidhar Wright, “Tom Cruise? Tarantino? E.T.? . . . Indian!: Innovation Through Imitation in the Cross-cultural Bollywood Re-make, in Cultural Borrowings Appropriation, Reworking, Transformation 194 (Iain Robert Smith ed., 2009). Wright also writes:Although I mainly cite Bollywood remakes produced over the past eight years, I do not intend to fix a date-period to this phenomenon. Hollywood narrative adaptations in 1990s Bollywood cinema have been partly explored by Sheila J. Nayar (1997). Also, we can find earlier evidence of such appropriation in films such as Mr India [sic] (1987), which works almost as a cultural inversion of Steven Spielberg’s Indian [sic] Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and in the 1950s with screen legend Raj Kapoor’s involvement in reworkings of Charlie Chaplin films, Frank Capra’s It happened One night [sic] (1934), and Vittorio De Sica’s Shoeshine (1946).Id. at 206 n.1.

15 Tejaswini Ganti, Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema 1, 2–4 (2004).

16 See id. at 3.

17 See id. (stating that the Hindi-language Bollywood films, together with the feature films produced in approximately twenty other Indian languages, make India the largest feature film-producing country in the world).

18Manjeet Kripalani & Ron Grover, Bollywood: Can New Money Create a World-Class Film Industry in India?, Bloomberg Businessweek (Dec. 2, 2002), available at http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/02_48/b3810013.htm (“The huge popularity of India’s film industry in emerging markets has fueled an annual growth rate of 15% for the past five years—three times that of India’s 5% gross domestic product growth.”).

19 Id.

20 Id.

21Lakshmi N. Tirumala, Bollywood Movies and Cultural Identity Construction Amongst Second Generation Indian Americans 5 (Aug. 2009) (unpublished M.A. thesis, Texas Tech University), available at http://www.global.asc.upenn.edu/docs/ICA2009/LakshmiT.pdf.

22Anita W. Wadhwani, “Bollywood Mania” Rising in United States, Wash. File (Aug. 9, 2006), http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2006/August/20060809124617nainawhdaw0.8614466.html. The author is referring to the volume of box office sales when stating the films “do more business.” Id.

23Sanjaya Baru, Bollywood’s Global Market Beckons, Rediff.com (Jan. 11, 2010, 12:17 PM), http://business.rediff.com/column/2010/jan/11/guest-bollywoods-global-market-beckons.htm.

24India, World Bank, http://data.worldbank.org/country/india (last visited Jan. 19, 2011).

25Baru, supra note 23 (“While Bollywood’s revenue numbers are nowhere near Hollywood’s, it churns out more films and now screens them in nearly a 100 countries [sic] around the world.”).

26 See Rhys Blakely, Hollywood Is Watching As Bollywood Loses the Plot, Times (London), Aug. 7, 2009, at 33 (“It’s going to be very tough to rob ideas from now on. Hollywood’s suddenly looking at Bollywood very minutely.”).

27See Baru, supra note 23; Wadhwani, supra note 22.

28Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, Annex 1C, done Apr. 15, 1994, 1867 U.N.T.S. 3 [hereinafter TRIPS].

29 See Kanchana Banerjee, Cloning Hollywood, Hindu (Aug. 3, 2003), http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/mag/2003/08/03/stories/2003080300090400.htm. In 2003, Bollywood director Vikram Bhatt boldly shared his view on remaking Hollywood movies in an interview with The Hindu magazine: “If you hide the source, you’re a genius. . . . I would rather trust the process of reverse engineering (remaking a film) rather than doing something indigenous. Financially, I would be more secure knowing that a particular piece of work has already done well at the box office.” Id. (quoting Vikram Bhatt) (internal quotation omitted); see also Ganti, supra note 15, at 75 (“Hindi filmmakers are quite open about their sources of inspiration.”).

30In intellectual property law, the public domain is defined as “[t]he universe of inventions and creative works that are not protected by intellectual-property rights and are therefore available for anyone to use without charge.” Black’s Law Dictionary 1349 (9th ed. 2009).

31 Ganti, supra note 15, at 76. While this statement is correct, the problem is that Bollywood filmmakers misconceive the scope of the public domain, particularly when it comes to understanding what constitutes a publicly available idea versus a protected expression. See infra Part II.B.1.

32 Ganti, supra note 15, at 76.

33 Id.

34 See Jishnu Guha, Time for India’s Intellectual Property Regime To Grow Up, 13 Cardozo J. Int’l & Comp. L. 225, 247 (2005) (“[I]n India, a Western-style IP tradition is a relative newcomer, largely imposed upon it by English colonialists.”).

35 Id. at 248.

36 Ganti, supra note 15, at 3.

37See id. at 37 (suggesting that it was easier to have average-earning films before the 1990s because it was easier to attract customers to the theaters).

38Id.

39 Bollywood vs. Hollywood, Businessweek, http://www.businessweek.com//magazine/content/02_48/art02_48/a48tab37.gif (last visited Feb. 15, 2012).

40Ganti, supra note 15, at 37; see also Tirumala, supra note 21 (stating that 14 million Indians go to the cinema every day).

41 See Banerjee, supra note 29.

42 See id.

43 See generally Competition Among Bollywood Heros, Bharatwaves.in (June 6, 2006, 11:42 AM), http://bharatwaves.com/news/Competition-among-Bollywood-Heros-1623.html.

44 See Ganti, supra note 15, at 85–95.

45 Id. at 77.

46 Id. at 50.

47The Indian government’s grant of “industry status” meant that banks were no longer prohibited from lending to film producers. Bollywood Rising, Economist, Feb. 9, 2008, at 72.

48 Ganti, supra note 15, at 50.

49 Id.

50 See Leela Jacinto, ‘Bollywood’ Produces Real-Life Drama, ABC News (May 4, 2001), http://abcnews.go.com/International/story?id=81141.

51Rakesh Roshan, Bollywood director and father of the popular Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan, was shot in an assassination attempt in early 2000. Nitasha Natu, Rakesh Roshan Gets Mafia Threats, Times India (Dec. 18, 2004, 2:14 PM), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Rakesh-Roshan-gets-mafia-threats/articleshow/963285.cms. Roshan claimed he continued to receive death threats well into 2004. Id. Police suspected the involvement of South-Asian organized crime factions in the attempt on Roshan’s life. Id.

52 See Banerjee, supra note 29.

53 Bollywood and Plagiarism: List of Bollywood Movies Copied from Hollywood, Bollywood Trends, http://www.bollywoodtrends.net/2009/04/bollywood-and-plagiarism-list-of.html (last visited Feb. 15, 2012).

54 Id.

55Sharmistha Acharya, Bollywood and Globalization (Mar. 15, 2004) (unpublished M.A. thesis, San Francisco State University), available at http://www.dishumdishum.com/BollyPresentation/GLOBALIZATION.PDF.

56 Id.

57 Id.

58 Id.

59 Id.

60 See Wadhwani, supra note 22.

61AshleyAshley, Bollywood ♥ Hollywood = ©, Copyright, Comm. & Culture (May 3, 2010), http://copyrightcommerceandculture.com/2010/05/03/bollywood-hollywood-%C2%A9.

62The Bollywood List of Plagiarism, Remakes and Inspirations (2008), Manishwa.com (Jan. 11, 2009), http://www.manishwa.com/2009/01/the-bollywood-list-of-plagiarism-remakes-and-inspirations-2008.

63Tejaswini Ganti, Dep’t Anthropology | NYU, http://anthropology.as.nyu.edu/object/tejaswiniganti.html (last visited Feb. 15, 2012) (CV of Ganti).

64 Ganti, supra note 15, at 75–76.

65 Id. at 75.

66 See infra Part II.B.2.

67 See The Bollywood List of Plagiarism, Remakes and Inspirations, supra note 62.

68In Twentieth Century’s suit for copyright infringement of Phone Booth, Judge Dalvi noted that absent the copied scenes and plots, the defendant’s accused film, Knock Out, would become “meaningless” and would not stand on its own. Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847, ¶ 28 (Bombay H.C. 2010) (Dalvi, J.), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/ NMS284710141010.pdf.

69 See Blakely, supra note 26, at 33 (quoting Chander Lall, a lawyer representing two major American studios, as saying, “Audiences now want new stories. The problem is, Bollywood has no tradition of producing original screenplays.”).

70 See, e.g., The Bollywood List of Plagiarism, Remakes and Inspirations, supra note 62.

71 Id.

72 Id.

73 See Desai, supra note 4, at 259 (citing Subhash K. Jha, Whose Movie Is It Anyway?, Rediff.com (May 19, 2003, 2:18 PM), http://www.rediff.com/movies/2003/may/19copy.htm).

74 See Radhika Sachdev, It Is Raining 3D Hollywood Movies, Tehelka (Nov. 23, 2010), http://www.tehelka.com/story_main47.asp?filename=Ws231110ENTERTAINMENT.asp.

75 See infra Part II.A.

76 Id.

77 See Robert P. Merges et al., Intellectual Property in the New Technological Age 563 (5th ed. 2010) (“From a strict incentive perspective, should we reward authors in markets they did not originally enter? . . . The economic rationale for derivative works may break down where the derivative right is used to preclude defendants from developing their own creative works in a market the plaintiff has not herself exploited, but which depends somehow on the plaintiff’s work.”).

7817 U.S.C. § 106(2) (2006); The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011), available at http://indiacode.nic.in.

79 Paul Goldstein, Derivative Rights and Derivative Works in Copyright, 30 J. Copyright Soc’y U.S.A. 209, 216 (1982).

80 See 17 U.S.C. § 106(2); The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011), available at http://indiacode.nic.in.

81Saikat Chatterjee, Hollywood Goes Bollywood As Studios Target India Filmgoers, Bloomberg (May 19, 2010, 11:37 AM), http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-05-18/hollywood-crashes-bollywood-as-disney-enters-land-of-three-billion-tickets.html.

82 Id.

83 Id.

84 See Banerjee, supra note 29.

85 See The Saraansh of Mahesh Bhatt’s Life, Times India (Jan. 13, 2003, 5:38 PM), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi-times/The-Saraansh-of-Mahesh-Bhatts-life/articleshow/34774326.cms.

86Banerjee, supra note 29 (emphasis added) (quoting Mahesh Bhatt).

87 Id. (quoting Vikram Bhatt).

88 Id. (quoting Kalpana Lajmi).

89 See Michael Martinez & Andreena Narayan, Hollywood, Bollywood Sign Cooperation Pact, CNN (Nov. 11, 2010), http://articles.cnn.com/2010-11-11/entertainment/hollywood.bollywood_1_indian-studios-hollywood-and-bollywood-indian-production.

90 See Blakely, supra note 26, at 33.

91Professor Tejawini Ganti of New York University dismissed allegations laid against Bollywood for copyright infringement in her book, Bollywood: A Guidebook to Popular Hindi Cinema. Ganti, supra note 15, at 74–76.

92Professor V K Unni is a faculty member at the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. V K Unni, IIMC Fac., http://www.iimcal.ac.in/faculty/facpage.asp?ID=unniv&tab=2 (last visited Mar. 6, 2012). He co-authored the article, Perspectives on Copyright: The ‘Karishma’ Controversy, in which he opined that Bollywood’s copying only amounts to a “perfectly legal” appropriation of unprotected Hollywood ideas. K M Gopakumar & V K Unni, Perspectives on Copyright: The ‘Karishma’ Controversy, 38 Econ. & Pol. Wkly 2935, 2935 (2003).

93K M Gopakumar, an intellectual property attorney in India, joined Professor Unni in authoring Perspectives on Copyright: The ‘Karishma’ Controversy. Gopakumar & Unni, supra note 91; see also INDIA: Patenting Ayurveda, Yoga, August Ayurveda, http://www.augustayurveda.com/showarticles.asp?id=116 (last visited Mar. 6, 2012).

94 See Ganti, supra note 15, at 76; Gopakumar & Unni, supra note 91, at 2936 (“[T]he action of a Bollywood screenplay writer/producer of lifting the idea from Hollywood and using creative talent to make another original expression is perfectly legal under copyright law. Such lifting may be a wrong practice from the point of morality and ethics but not in law. As a result lifting of an idea does not give rise to a cause for action under the copyright law.”).

95The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011), available at http://indiacode.nic.in.

96 Id.

97 Id.

9817 U.S.C. § 102 (2006).

99 Id. § 102(a).

100Id. § 102(b); Anand v. Deluxe Film, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1613 (India).

10117 U.S.C. § 102 (b).

102The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011) (emphasis added), available at http://indiacode.nic.in.

103Anand, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1613.

10417 U.S.C. § 103; The Copyright Act, No. 14 of 1957, India Code (2011), available at http://indiacode.nic.in (providing that, although derivative works are not specifically mentioned in the Indian Copyright Act, “adaptations” are treated as derivative works).

10517 U.S.C. § 101.

106Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, opened for signature Sept. 9, 1886, as amended 1161 U.N.T.S. 3.

107TRIPS, supra note 28.

108 See E. Book Co. v. D.B. Modak, A.I.R. 2008 S.C. 809 (India).

109 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 520.

110 Id.

111 Id.

112 Id.

113 Id.

114 See Anand v. Deluxe Film, A.I.R. 1978 S.C. 1613 (India).

115Gopakumar & Unni, supra note 92.

116 Id.

117Morrissey v. Procter & Gamble, 379 F.2d 675, 678–79 (1st Cir. 1967) (“When the uncopyrightable subject matter is very narrow, so that ‘the topic necessarily requires,’ if not only one form of expression, at best only a limited number, to permit copyrighting would mean that a party or parties, by copyrighting a mere handful of forms, could exhaust all possibilities of future use of the substance. In such circumstances it does not seem accurate to say that any particular form of expression comes from the subject matter. However, it is necessary to say that the subject matter would be appropriated by permitting the copyrighting of its expression.” (citations omitted)); Servewell Products Pvt Ltd & Anr v. Dolphin, IA Nos. 383/2010 & 1119/2010 in CS(OS) 49/2010 (Delhi H.C. 2010) (India), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/272656 (“When the ‘idea’ and its ‘expression’ are thus inseparable, copying the ‘expression’ will not be barred, since protecting the ‘expression’ in such circumstances would confer a monopoly of the ‘idea’ upon the copyright owner.”).

118 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 462.

119Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847, ¶ 34 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf.

120 Cf. Merges et al., supra note 77, at 459–62.

121Morrissey, 379 F.2d 675–79 (holding that a set of rules for a sweepstakes promotional contest is uncopyrightable subject matter); Mattel Inc. v. Agarwalla, IA No. 2352/2008 in CS(OS) 344/2008 (Delhi H.C. 2008) (India), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/300797 (holding that the rules for the game “Scrabble” are not eligible for copyright protection).

122According to the doctrine of scenes à faire, “incidents, characters or settings which are as a practical matter indispensable, or at least standard, in the treatment of a given topic” are not eligible for copyright protection. Atari, Inc. v. N. Am. Philips Consumer Elecs., 672 F.2d 607, 616 (7th Cir. 1982) (citation omitted).

123Copyright Infringement Law, Copyright L. Center, http://www.copyright-laws.com/pgs/protect-rights.html (last visited Jan. 19, 2011).

124Bradford v. Sahara Media Entm’t Ltd., 2004 (28) PTC 474 Cal (Calcutta H.C. 2003), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/757852.

125For more information on Barbara Taylor Bradford, see Barbara’s Biography, Random House, http://www.randomhouse.com/features/bradford/bio.html (last visited Mar. 6, 2012).

126Bradford, 2004 (28) PTC 474 Cal.

127 Id.

128 Id. (emphasis added).

129 See supra Part II.B.1; infra Part III.A.

130 Ganti, supra note 15, at 76.

131The term “Indianized,” as used in the context of Bollywood remakes of Hollywood movies, refers to the addition of Indian culture, fashion, and signature Bollywood film elements, such as elaborate song-and-dance sequences that deviate from the storyline of a film and strong emotional overtones. Id. at 77.

132 Id. at 75–76; see also Gopakumar & Unni, supra note 91.

133 See Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., 81 F.2d 49 (2d Cir. 1936); Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf.

134Nichols v. Universal Pictures Corp., 45 F.2d 119, 121 (2d Cir. 1930) (“It is of course essential to any protection of literary property, whether at common-law or under the statute, that the right cannot be limited literally to the text, else a plagiarist would escape by immaterial variations.”).

135 H.R. Rep. No. 94-1476, at 61 (1976) (emphasis added).

136For example, in the sliding scale and virtual identity test, courts require a high degree of similarity when the copyrighted work embodies limited creative expression and less similarity when the copyrighted work embodies a high degree of creative expression. See generally Incredible Techs., Inc. v. Virtual Techs., Inc., 400 F.3d 1007 (7th Cir. 2005).

137Shaw v. Lindheim, 919 F.2d 1353, 1357–58 (9th Cir. 1990).

138 Id.

139Id. (“Indian copyright laws resemble American copyright laws.”); Desai, supra note 4, at 264.

140 Shaw, 919 F.2d at 1357–58.

141 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 532.

142Horgan v. Macmillan, Inc., 789 F.2d 157, 162 (2d Cir. 1986) (emphasis added).

143Fragmented literal similarity refers to when a “defendant has copied distinct literal elements of the plaintiff’s work and incorporated them into a larger work of his or her own.” Merges et al., supra note 76, at 532.

144 4 Melville B. Nimmer & David Nimmer, Nimmer on Copyright §13.03[A][2][a] (2011) (emphasis added) (citations omitted).

145Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf.

146 Id. ¶ 1.

147 Id. ¶ 12.

148 Id.

149 Id.

150Id. ¶ 16.

151 Id. ¶ 31.

152Sheldon v. Metro-Goldwyn Pictures Corp., 81 F.2d 49 (2d Cir. 1936).

153Twentieth Century, 1 NM-2847, ¶ 27 (internal quotations omitted).

154 Id. ¶ 12.

155 See id. ¶ 31.

156 Id. ¶ 30.

157 Id. ¶¶ 28–29.

158 See id. ¶¶ 22, 28–31.

159 Id. ¶¶ 33–35.

160 See id. ¶¶ 28–31.

161 Id. ¶ 22.

162 See supra Part I.B; Ganti, supra note 15, at 75.

163 See supra Part I.B.

164See Desai, supra note 4, 259–60.

165Vijay Mishra, Bollywood Cinema: A Critical Genealogy 7 (Asian Inst., Working Paper No. 20, 2006), available at www.victoria.ac.nz/slc/asi/publications/17-bollywood.pdf (“There has been an overseas market for Indian popular cinema from at least the early ‘30s, largely in the old Indian diaspora, but also in the Middle East, parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and the Soviet Union. In the western world, including white settler states, it is safe to say that Indian cinema for a long while did not exist and that the market for it was absent.”).

166 See generally Jane L. Volz & Roger S. Haydock, Foreign Arbitral Awards: Enforcing the Award Against the Recalcitrant Loser, 21 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 867 (1996).

167 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 718–19.

168 Id.

169 See Kripalani & Grover, supra note 18.

170 Barton Legum, International Litigation Strategies and Practice 41 (2005).

171 See Blakely, supra note 26, at 33.

172Guha, supra note 34, at 241.

173 Id.

174 Id.

175 Ganti, supra note 15, at 76.

176 See Bradford v. Sahara Media Entm’t Ltd., 2004 (28) PTC 474 Cal (Calcutta H.C. 2003), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/757852 (noting that Indian intellectual property law is “singularly devoid of reported decisions in copyright actions, at least up to the present day”).

177Guha, supra note 34, at 248–52.

178 Id. at 244–45.

179 Id. at 240.

180J.H. Reichman, Enforcing the Enforcement Procedures of the TRIPS Agreement, 37 Va. J. Int’l L. 335, 339–40 (1997).

181Bradford, (28) PTC 474 Cal.

182Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. BR Films, NMS/1561/2009 (Bombay H.C. 2010) (unreported consent order), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2009/NMS156109050809.pdf.

183 Author Loses India Plagiarism Case, BBC News (July 21, 2003, 3:00 PM), http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3084401.stm.

184Bradford, (28) PTC 474 Cal.

185 See supra Part II.B.1.iii.

186Bradford, (28) PTC 474 Cal.

187 Id.

188 Id.

189 Author Loses India TV Appeal, BBC News (Aug. 4, 2003, 2:11 PM), http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/3123315.stm.

190Shree Venkatesh Films Pvt Ltd v. Vipul Amrutlal Shah (Calcutta H.C. 2009), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1286774.

191Bengali is an Indo–Aryan language native to eastern South Asia. See E. Annamalai, Contexts of Multilingualism, in Language in South Asia 223, 223–34 (Braj B. Kachru et al. eds., 2008).

192Shree Venkatesh Films, available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1286774.

193 Aswin Punathambekar, Global Bollywood 24 (Anandam Kavoori ed., 2008).

194 Id. at 79–95.

195 Id.

196Shree Venkatesh Films, available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/1286774.

197 Id.

198 Zee Dragged to Court on ‘Time Bomb,’ Hindu (Jun. 18, 2005), http://www.hindu.com/2005/06/18/stories/2005061817630300.htm.

199 Id.

200 Id.

201 Id.

202Status of Cases, High Ct. Delhi, http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhc_case_status_list_new.asp (last visited Feb. 20, 2012).

203 Zee Dragged to Court on ‘Time Bomb,’ supra note 198.

204In the High Court of Delhi at New Delhi, High Ct. Delhi (June 17, 2005), http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/dhcqrydisp_o.asp?pn=6365&yr=2005.

205Time Bomb 9/11 (TV Serial), Connect.in.com, http://connect.in.com/time-bomb-911-tv-serial/biography-542684.html (last visited Feb. 20, 2012).

206Sonali Krishna, Partner May Face $30 Million Hitch, Econ. Times (Aug. 8, 2007, 3:47 AM), http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Partner_may_face_30_mn_Hitch/articleshow/2264000.cms.

207Elizabeth Flock, Forbes India: Who Will Bell the Copycat, IBN Live (July 22, 2009, 2:56 PM), http://ibnlive.in.com/news/forbes-india-who-will-bell-the-copycat/97669-8.html. Although the case never went to trial, Sony “acquired the global exclusive satellite broadcasting rights of Partner.” Id.

208 See Bradford v. Sahara Media Entm’t Ltd., 2004 (28) PTC 474 Cal (Calcutta H.C. 2003), available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/757852.

209Warner Bros. Entm’t Inc. v. Kohli, (2008) 9600 I.A. 1607, available at http://www.indiankanoon.org/doc/395839.

210 Id. ¶ 4.

211 Id. Punjabi is an Indo–Aryan language native to the Punjab region of South Asia. Annamalai, supra note 191, at 223–34.

212Warner Bros., 9600 I.A. 1607, ¶ 21.

213 Id. ¶ 11.

214 Id. ¶ 30.

215Blakely, supra note 26, at 33.

216 Lall & Sethi, http://www.indiaip.com (last visited Feb. 20, 2012).

217Blakely, supra note 26, at 33.

218Vyas, supra note 6.

219Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp. v. BR Films, NMS/1561/2009 (Bombay H.C. 2010) (unreported consent order), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2009/NMS156109050809.pdf.

220Flock, supra note 207.

221 See Emily Wax, Paying the Price for Hollywood Remakes, Wash. Post (Aug. 26, 2009), http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/25/AR2009082503104.html?hpid=topnews; Vyas, supra note 6.

222 Bollywood Copy Case ‘Is Settled,’ supra note 10.

223 Id.

224 Id.

225 Id.

226 See Anupreeta Das, Bollywood to Plagiarism: Bye Bye?, Reuters (Aug. 26, 2009), http://blogs.reuters.com/mediafile/2009/08/26/bollywood-to-plagiarism-bye-bye.

227Twentieth Century for Film Corp. v. Sohail Maklai Entm’t Pvt. Ltd., NM-2847 (Bombay H.C. 2010), available at http://bombayhighcourt.nic.in/data/original/2010/NMS284710141010.pdf.

228 Id. ¶ 2.

229 See generally id.

230 Id. ¶ 35.

231 Id. ¶ 27.

232 Id.

233 Id. ¶ 29.

234 Ramachandran, supra note 12.

235Id.

236 Id.

237TRIPS, supra note 28.

238 Id.

239 Id. art. 1.

240 Merges et al., supra note 77, at 717–18.

241 Id.

242 Id. at 717.

243 See Desai, supra note 4, at 260–63.

244Id. at 263–64.

245 TRIPS, supra note 28, art. 64.

246Desai, supra note 4, at 262.

247 See Courts Will Take 320 Years To Clear Backlog Cases: Justice Rao, Times India (Mar. 6, 2010, 6:05 PM), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Courts-will-take-320-years-to-clear-backlog-cases-Justice-Rao/articleshow/5651782.cms.

248TRIPS, supra note 28, art. 64.

249 See id.

250 See id.

251 Marrakesh Agreement Establishing the World Trade Organization, Annex 2 art. 2, done Apr. 15, 1994, 1867 U.N.T.S. 3.

252 Id. art. 11.

253 Id. art. 1.

254 TRIPS, supra note 28, art. 59.

255Desai, supra note 4, at 261–63.

256 Id. at 263–64.

257 See Martinez & Narayan, supra note 89.

258TRIPS, supra note 28.

259A S Mitra, Hollywood Formalizes Pact with Bollywood, bollywoodtrade.com (Nov. 11, 2010, 12:29 PM), http://www.bollywoodtrade.com/trade-news/hollywood-formalizes-pact-with-bollywood/index.htm.

260 Why AACT?, Alliance Against Copyright Theft, http://www.aact.in/WhyAACT.php (last visited Feb. 31, 2012).

261 Id.

262Mitra, supra note 259.

263 Id.

264 Id.

265 Id.

266 See Wadhwani, supra note 22.

267 See Jyothi Prabhakar, B’wood Waking Up to Copyright Infringement, Times India (May 16, 2009, 12:19 AM), http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Bwood-waking-up-to-copyright-infringement/articleshow/4533917.cms (“[W]hat Slumdog’s success did was . . . to make the big daddies of Hollywood curious about the ‘Bollywood type’ of movies. They began . . . to watch Bollywood films. . . . They realised that not some . . . but far too many [Bollywood] films were scene-by-scene rip-offs of their films.”).

Managing Editor, Emory International Law Review; J.D. Candidate, Emory University School of Law (2012); B.A., cum laude, Rutgers University (2009). The Author would like to thank Professor Timothy R. Holbrook, whose advice and guidance greatly contributed to the development of this Comment. The Author would also like to thank the Emory International Law Review staff for their hard work and dedication in bringing this Comment to publication.