Amazon Prime Video deletes Nani starrer V after actor Sakshi Malik's filed complain
Amazon Prime Video informed the Bombay High Court that it has deleted the Telugu film titled V, which illicitly portrayed actor Sakshi Malik's photo.
Amazon Prime Video informed the Bombay High Court that it has deleted the Telugu film titled V, which illicitly portrayed actor Sakshi Malik's photo. The OTT platform said that Malik's photo also has been cropped out because of which they had to face litigation. Nani and Sudheer Babu's V, directed by Mohan Krishna Indraganti released directly on Amazon Prime Video on September 5.
After making the necessary changes, the OTT platform has now been allowed to release the new version. The court has made it clear that Malik's photo cannot be used without her express approval.
Malik requested permission to address the court, so Justice Gautam Patel spoke to her on video call on Thursday (March 4). She told the court about the trauma, trials and tribulations that she had to face on account of the illicit use of her photo in a defamatory manner in the film.
Malik said, "I had gotten many offers last year. It is embarrassing for me what had happened. It is difficult to say how I felt. I could have been doing so many projects by now, but now I have lost all that. I don't know if I have any scope in this industry. The producers have stopped calling."
In September 2020, a Telugu film titled V was released on Amazon Prime. In this film, a photo of Malik was shown where she was allegedly portrayed as a female escort or a commercial sex worker. Malik had alleged that the photo was part of her private photoshoot collection and has been lifted from her Instagram account. The film producers could not show any agreement which had Malik's approval to use her photo in the film.
During the conversation with Malik, Justice Patel asked her if she would go in for settlement of the case wherein she could seek damages from the film producers. The court also said that if the trial takes place then Malik would have to come to court and face cross-examination.
"The result of the litigation is uncertain and there is always an inevitability of an appeal. The possibility of ending it all exists now," said Justice Patel adding that the amount for damages has to be decided by both Malik and the filmmakers. "It will not be Amazon but the film producers who will be shelling out," said Justice Patel. He added, "But, you will escape the trauma of litigation if you agree to a settlement. Then, it can all end in March-April. Else, it will go on for we can't say how long. And there is the inevitability of appeal as well."
Malik's advocates Alankar Kirpekar and Saveena T Bedi told the court that it was not just a case of Malik but about the objectification of women by society. Kirpekar said, "The producers have earned more than Rs 33 crore. There should be an amount that should be deposited in the High Court so that it sends a strong message about the issue of objectification of women." The court agreed and said, 'Malik is probably only the latest but sadly not the last woman' who have to deal with such objectification. The court spoke about the misogynistic and patriarchal mindsets and how this has to stop.
Kirpekar also argued saying "Two days after the movie released in September 2020, Malik asked them to delete but they did not do anything. Only when we moved the court, they deleted it in 24 hours."
The court asked advocate Akash Menon, who was appearing for the producers, "This is much larger than what you think it is. They are spot on about the objectification of women. Open source does not mean that you have all the right to use a photo. Does your producer know anything about the license? She could have gone for copyright infringement. We are not as protected as overseas. But here you have taken a personal photoshoot? How dare you?"
Justice Patel asked further, "Does the producer have any women in his house? Why did he not use their photo? He would not do so only because he knows for what they are being used. What makes you think that Malik cannot go for criminal defamation? Think of all this when you file your reply."
The filmmakers will be filing a reply and the court will further hear the case on March 25. Before that, Malik has to decide if she will straight away seek damages or she would like to go for trial. If she seeks damages then she will have to sit across the table with the filmmakers and come to a decision about the settlement. All this has to be conveyed to court by March 25.
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