Page last updated at 13:47 GMT, Friday, 7 August 2009 14:47 UK

Bollywood copy case 'is settled'

Marisa Tomei at the 1993 Oscars
Marisa Tomei won a best supporting actress Oscar for My Cousin Vinny

A Hollywood film studio has accepted a $200,000 (£120,000) settlement from the Bollywood film producer it says copied its movie My Cousin Vinny, reports say.

20th Century Fox accepted the money from BR Films, creators of Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai, after taking the case to Mumbai's High Court, The Times said.

It was the first time a Bollywood studio had been forced to pay out for borrowing from Hollywood, it added.

The Indian movie industry has a long history of remaking US hits.

'Indianised' version

Fox said Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai, which means This Guy is Fearless, was an illegal remake with scripts and a plot that were almost identical to its own 1992 comedy hit.

BR Films had argued that the characters and setting in its film were original.

Fox told industry newspaper The Hollywood Reporter that BR had approached it for the rights to make an "Indianised" version of My Cousin Vinny.

Both 20th Century Fox and BR Films... emphasise the importance of producers securing adaptation rights from the owners of the original motion picture before making any version thereof
20th Century Fox

"Discussions had taken place between the two parties. However, 20th Century Fox contended that no terms were agreed between them, whereas BR Films contended to the contrary."

In May, Fox sued BR, which rejected the allegations.

Fox told The Hollywood Reporter that both parties had "now succeeded in amicably resolving the case" in an out-of-court settlement.

"Both 20th Century Fox and BR Films - which have large libraries of their respective copyrighted works - emphasise the importance of producers securing adaptation rights from the owners of the original motion picture before making any version thereof."

Action threatened

Earlier this year, Fox said it had given BR permission to use the idea behind My Cousin Vinny as the basis for Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai.

But it contended that the rights for a Hindi remake had not been approved.

The settlement could curb the Bollywood trend for remaking Hollywood films.

In September, a case against the Bollywood makers of Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors was dismissed.

Harry Potter producers had claimed the name was too similar to that of the boy wizard.

More recently, a possible Indian remake of Oscar-nominated film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was threatened with legal action.

Comedy My Cousin Vinny tells the tale of a New York lawyer who tries to free his teenage cousin and his friend after they are falsely accused of murder in Alabama.

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