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Hollywood In India Protecting Intellectual Property A & B Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1891 4376 Words (13 Pages) Lakshmi Iyer, Namrata Arora Harvard Business School : 711017
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Plagiarism is using of somebody else’s work without giving the original creator significant credit for it. It is considered theft of ideas because, if a person is using another person’s previously recognized work in any way, he should properly acknowledge the original authorship of the material. It is a serious offense whether it is done in academic writing, art, movie making or software development. As far as academic and scientific writings are concerned, these days, Softwares are available for plagiarism detection. However, when it comes to movies, images and softwares it is exceedingly hard to draw a line between plagiarized and original work.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. Identification of Plagiarism

  2. Plagiarism of Hollywood Movies by Bollywood

  3. Hitch Vs Partner

  4. My Name is Khan Vs Forest Gump

  5. Extent of Plagiarism

  6. Preventing Plagiarism

  7. Piracy in India

  8. Anti Piracy measures for My Name is Khan

Case Analysis for Hollywood In India Protecting Intellectual Property A & B

1. Identification of Plagiarism

Plagiarism can occur in images, text, movies and, even, Softwares. Due to the advancement in technology, ample softwares are available online to detect plagiarism of written content. However, there is a limit to the usefulness of such softwares because, even though they can detect the exact copy of the original work, they cannot identify plagiarism if the material from the original work is paraphrased or if only the basic idea of the original work is used. Thus, it entirely depends on the memory of the people viewing the report to recognize plagiarism. Same is true for images, text and softwares. A shrewd plagiarizer has numerous tools at his disposal to replicate someone else’s work (or idea) in a way that his work appears to be original. In images, watermarks are used to prevent such plagiarism; nevertheless, the concept can still be duplicated. It is also possible to duplicate softwares, if the basic functioning and idea of the software is understood. Additionally, even if plagiarism, in any of these mediums, is identified, it is difficult to prove whether plagiarism was deliberate or accidental.

Particularly for movies, it is difficult to decipher whether the movie is plagiarized version of another movie or just “inspired” by another movie. In movies, anything from the story to the scenes can be borrowed from previously released movies. The movie makers can use the entire original idea(s) as it is or modify it according to the requirement of their movie. The most obvious form of plagiarism in movies is the story. If two movies are based on the same story, regardless of the language or cultural setting, and the author of the original story is not accredited, the movie released later has plagiarized from the former. This kind of plagiarism is fairly common in Bollywood movies. These movies are, often, based wholly, or partially, on stories of Hollywood movies adapted to the Indian cultural environment. The scenes of one movie can also be copied from another movie. As mentioned earlier, any content, material or technique used in earlier movies can be used in the new movies. It is exceedingly difficult to identify plagiarized work unless the similarities between two movies are glaringly obvious. The amount of skilful improvisation and modification made to the copied content depends on the skill and intent of the plagiarizer. Thus, it makes identification of plagiarism a rather daunting challenge but not impossible.

2. Plagiarism of Hollywood Movies by Bollywood

Bollywood, Indian film industry, is the largest film industry in the world in terms of the number of movies produced, the people employed and the sale of movie tickets. Hollywood, US based film industry, is, however, the largest in terms of gross box office collections (Lakhsmi). For the past decade or two, Bollywood movies have shown strong resemblance to previously released Hollywood movies in terms of the storyline. For instance, Bollywood movies Sarkar, Kaante and kyo kii.. mein jhuth nahin bolta are said to be strongly “inspired” by Hollywood productions The Godfather, Reservoir Dogs and Liar Liar (Desai). There are several other movies which can be claimed to be the Indian version of the Hollywood movies. The reason for this increasing plagiarism is the weak copyrights law enforcement in India. In most movies, the plagiarism is exceedingly obvious, for example, Indian Movie “Partner” can be called an Indian replica of Hollywood movie Hitch. On the other hand, there also exist other movies which have so many differences that determining plagiarism is difficult. A perfect example of such a movie is, the Bollywood movie, My Name is Khan. The lead character of My Name is Khan is “said” to be inspired from the lead character of Hollywood movie the Forest Gump.

3. Hitch Vs Partner

Hitch is a Hollywood romantic comedy film directed by Andy Tennant, starring Will smith as Hitch, the date doctor. It’s the story of the man Alex "Hitch" Hitchens who coaches other men in the “art of wooing women”. In the movie, Albert Brennaman is one of his clients. Albert has a serious crush on his boss, Allegra Cole. Hitch helps Albert out in getting the girl he loves by guiding him in every step of the way. As Albert’s relationship with his boss progresses, Hitch falls for a gossip columnist, Sara Melas. Ironically though, Sara was determined to expose “date doctor” because one of his clients had a one-night stand with her best friend. However, Sara was unaware that Hitch had refused to work with that particular client. The situation becomes hilarious when Hitch’s methods of wooing women did not seem to work on Sara. Eventually though when both Hitch and Albert get their girls, Hitch is unmasked and both their relationships break up. Hitch then reunites Albert with Allegra and reconciles with Sara. Hitch and Albert were the main comedy characters of this movie. The movie made gross worldwide revenue of $368,100,420 (Boxofficemojo).

Partner, a Bollywood movie, was released in 2007. It is claimed to be the Indian adaptation of Hitch. Partner has the exact same storyline as Hitch. In both the movies the story revolves around a man who helps other people with their dating problems. The role of the “dating coach” in both movies has been done by leading actors in the respective industries. Salman Khan, a leading Indian actor, plays the role of Prem, the “LoveGuru”, in Partner. There were just two minor differences in the plot. Firstly, in Partner the gossip columnist (Naina) is a divorced single mother rather than a single women and Prem has to convince Naina as well as her son. The character Albert is called Bhaskar in Partner. He is in love with his boss, Priya. The second difference in plot occurs, when finally Priya and Bhaskar are in love, Priya’s father forcibly tries to get her to marry another guy. Both Bhaskar and Prem then crash Priya's wedding ceremony with Naina, and convince Priya's father. Apart from this the story is the same, eventually Naina exposes Prem and both relationships nearly break up. At the end, Prem comes to their rescue and the couples get back together. Partner was also remarkably successful in the industry and generated a gross worldwide revenue of up to 1,028,600,000 Indian Rupee (BoxofficeIndia).

Both movies, Hitch and Partner, are very much alike. They, even, have the same scenes played out when, under the guidance of the the dating coach, his client tries to woo his boss. For instance, in one scene of Hitch, Albert tries to get his presence noticed by Allegra in a meeting. He does so by pointing out that Allegra should take her own decision and not rely on her financial advisors completely. This exact same scene was played in Partner with only the difference in language. After viewing both the movies it is exceedingly obvious to everyone that makers of Partner has undoubtedly plagiarized from Hitch.

In this example, plagiarism is fairly obvious and it is wrong because, even in different settings, the plot and the overall experience of the movie remains the same. It’s not just taking an idea from a movie and using it to make another movie. It’s more like making the exact replica of a movie. This must have, to a large extent, damaged the ability of Hitch to generate revenue in India.

On the other hand, just getting an idea from a movie and using it to create a entirely new plot for a new movie is not wrong. This is because, even when the idea is inspired by another movie, the movie produced is quite original. For instance, while the idea of My Name is Khan was inspired from the movie Forest Gump, both stories are utterly different.

4. My Name is Khan Vs Forest Gump

Forest Gump was released in America in 1994 and was based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom. Forrest Gump is a altruistic man with a low IQ. His only friend is an abused girl at school called Jenny. His mother teaches him everything and then dies, leaving him to choose his destiny. Forrest earns a football scholarship at the University of Alabama due to his ability to run. After graduation, he joins the army. In Vietnam, he becomes friends with a black man, Bubba. Bubba and Forrest decide to start a shrimping business after the war. Unfortunately, Bubba failed to survive the war. Forrest is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for rescuing men during the attack on his platoon. Forest was injured during this attack and, while recovering, he discovered his aptitude for ping pong. Soon after playing for the Army team, he gained popularity. Forrest, latter, endorses a ping-pong paddles company. He invests the money he earned from the Ping pong Business to buy a shrimping boat. He eventually becomes successful and ends up buying the entire fleet of shrimp boats. Forest then becomes famous by running across the country many times. Finally, near the end of the movie, Forest marries Jenny, his life-long love, after he discovers that she is suffering from a life-threatening virus. Jenny dies soon afterwards, leaving behind a son. In the movie, Forest wins medals, manages a successful shrimp fishing business, becomes a ping-pong celebrity and, in the process, meets the president a number of times. Forest’s successes were irrelevant to him. He only cared about Jenny who has messed up her life a great deal. Forest proves through the movie that “anyone can love anyone”. Forest Gump was a success and it made a gross worldwide revenue of $677,387,716.

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