83: Relief For Netflix India & Star India As Bombay High Court Refuses To Put A Stay On The Film’s Digital Release
83 Distributors Netflix India & Star India Out Of Trouble As Bombay High Court Refuses To Put A Stay On The Film’s Digital Release(Photo Credit: Instagram/Poster From 83)

The poor box office collection of the film 83 came as a shocker to the makers but most of it had to do with the unexpected third wave of COVID 19. Most reports suggested that the film would do well at the box office as it had strong content and featured promising artists Ranveer Singh, amongst others. As the film gears up for an OTT release, Bombay High Court recently rejected a plea filed by the production house Mad Man, asking for a stay on the film’s digital and satellite release.

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For the unversed, the movie is based on the Indian Cricket team’s historic win in the World Cup of 1983. The movie was released in the last week of December 2021 and featured actors like Pankaj Tripathi, Hardy Sandhu, and Tahir Raj Bhasin, amongst others. This sports biopic was directed by Kabir Khan and actress Deepika Padukone was also a part of the team, alongside producers and distributors like Man Man, Phantom Films Pvt. Ltd., Star India Pvt. Ltd., Netflix Global LLC, Reliance Entertainment Studios Pvt. Ltd. and more.

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Man Man productions had previously filed a plea at the Bombay High Court seeking a stay on the film 83’s digital release, claiming that they were assigned 37.5% ownership of the film according to the Consent Order of 2021. This plea has now been rejected by the court, highlighting that the consent terms do not apply to 83 as the agreement was made long before the terms were passed.

Defendants Star India and Netflix, who own digital and satellite rights of 83, put it forth in the court through their advocates that they entered the agreement long before the movie was released in 2021. Star India was granted permission to the film’s rights in 2017 and Netflix India entered the scene in 2019.

According to Live Law, the court said, “In my Prima facie view…this certainly cannot apply to the Agreements which are already referred to in the Consent Minutes of Order and Clause 1.2 of the ’83 Agreement’ as having already created rights in favour of these third parties including Star and Netflix.”

The court also highlighted that Mad Man will have rights to the film 83 only after the first ten years of the movie’s release. The film hit the big screens on December 24th, 2021.

According to the same report, Justice Riyaz Chagla stated, “Defendant No. 4 (Star India) and Defendant No. 5 (Netflix) have antecedent rights of exploitation of the subject film on satellite and digital media and which has acknowledged and accepted by Plaintiff (Mad Man), the application is rejected.”

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