The writer of Excel Entertainment’s Rock On 2, Pubali Chaudhuri responded to Abhishek Kapoor on the Rock On 2 story copyright controversy. Pubali Chaudhuri has been working closely with producers Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar of Excel Entertainment on the sequel, Rock On 2. Abhishek who had earlier written and directed Rock On, has filed a case against Farhan and Ritesh for crediting only Pubali as the writer of the sequel. Abhishek maintains that both he and Pubali had started working on the script of the sequel, and so, he too should be given credit as a writer.
But Pubali was shocked that Abhishek Kapoor has chosen to take the judicial course in resolving what is a copyright issue.
Pubali wrote a letter. Here are the excerpts:
As the suit filed by Mr Kapoor is sub judice before the Hon’ble High Court, all I wish to say at this point is that the allegations made under various articles published over the last few days against me and Excel, in respect to Abhishek’s authorship and ownership of the script of the under production film Rock On 2, being produced by Excel Entertainment, which is a sequel to the film Rock On, also produced by the same banner and released in the year 2008, are absolutely baseless.
Since history throws a long shadow over the present, perhaps it is time to bring to light the events of the past. I was barely six months old in Mumbai, a fresh graduate of the Screenplay Writing course at the Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, when Mr Abhishek Kapoor approached me in 2006 to write a full blown screenplay of what was to later become the film Rock On. As my first film writing project in Mumbai, I put in my best efforts to flesh out the characters, develop the story and write the screenplay of the said film.
Mr Kapoor subsequently sold the script to Excel Entertainment in 2007 and cited himself as the sole story and screenplay writer and director of the film, without mentioning that, in actuality, it was I who had written the screenplay for the past six months. It’s only after the producers were informed of my involvement in the script that I was credited as the second screenplay writer of the film. This, in fact, is the reality behind the `credit stealing’ charges that I have been recently accused of. In 2011, I was informed that the producers were planning a sequel of Rock On and I signed an agreement with them, as the story and screenplay writer of the proposed sequel. As the producers had informed me that they were considering Mr Kapoor to direct the sequel, I had shared and discussed the script with him in good faith over the next two years, sending him several drafts of the story and screenplay over emails. I had also registered the then latest draft of the screenplay with the Film Writers Association (FWA), Mumbai, in August 2013. I was subsequently informed by the producers that Mr Kapoor would, in fact, not be directing the sequel and I was asked to honour the existing agreement I had with Excel Entertainment, as the writer of the sequel of Rock On.
As I continued to carry on my work, I was informed by Mr Kapoor’s associate, after 10 months, that Mr Kapoor had, in fact, registered the last draft of the sequel’s screenplay that he had received from me, under his name at the FWA, in the interim. Thereafter, I filed a complaint with the FWA, against the said director for this wrongful registration. The said complaint has been resolved pursuant to an order of the Appellate Board of the Film Writers Association and received by me in January 2015.
Therefore, it is extremely shocking to know that in spite of there being an order of the FWA, which is an association that the entire film writers community have so much faith and confidence in, Mr Kapoor has gone ahead with the filing of the suit before the Bombay High Court.
I would like to add that I have full faith in the judiciary and I’m assured that the truth will come out soon and would, therefore, request that no further speculations are believed without verifying the truth.
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