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Court order in Nadaprabhu Kempegowda title row on July 1

Director TS Nagabharana's film with Dhananjaya, Nadaprabhu Kempegowda, and producer Kiran Thotambyle's Upendra-led Dharmabeeru Nadaprabhu Kempegowda are in a tussle over who gets the title

Court order in Nadaprabhu Kempegowda title row on July 1

Two film teams are fighting for the right to make films on the life of Nadaprabhu Kempegowda

Last Updated: 04.06 PM, Jun 24, 2024


The title dispute between director TS Nagabharana and producer Dr Kiran Thotambyle, both of who are making films about the founder of Bengaluru, Kempegowda, will reach a conclusion shortly. Nagabharana has a film called Nadaprabhu Kempegowda with Dhananjaya in the works, while Dr Kiran has announced Dharmabeeru Nadaprabhu Kempegowda with Upendra. The final judgement on the temporary injunction that Nagabharana obtained against Dr Kiran about the use of the title Nadaprabhu Kempegowda is set for July 1. 

The background

Director TS Nagabharana registered his title Nadaprabhu Kempegowda in 2014, while Dr Kiran registered Dharmabeeru Nadaprabhu Kempegowda only in April 2024. However, subsequent to this, the team of Nagabharana's film secured a temporary injuntion against the latter citing copyright infringement over the title.

 "After I announced Dharmabeeru Nadapraphu Kempegowda, I was told that the copyright to the title rests with Nagabharana. He procured a temporary stay order against my film. We have challenged this, as there is no copyright with regards to a historical personality and, as such, the title too cannot be under copyright. Nadaprabhu Kempegowda is a public figure and does not fall under the purview of copyright. Anyone can make film on the founder of Bengaluru with a relevant title," says Kiran.

The filmmaker-musician adds that the titles of both films have been registered with different film chambers. "The chamber is not a governing authority to give copyright to any film. Chamber registration is not mandatory for a court of law. Anyone in India can keep any title, as approved by the Supreme Court, in favour of films like Don, etc. We are looking at vacating the stay," he adds.

Speaking on behalf of TS Nagabharana's team, his son, filmmaker Pannaga Bharana clarified that the title Nadaprabhu Kempegowda has been with the former since 2014, which has been dilligently renewed year-on-year. "We are making a biopic on Nadaprabhu Kempegowda. based on a script that we've worked on for several years. Kiran Thotambyle's film was registered 10 years later and with a secondary film chamber. Our contention is that he should not use the title Nadaprabhu Kempegowda with a prefix or suffix. The final order on our injunction on the title is expected on July 1," says Pannaga.  

So, what is it that Kiran wants? "Nadaprabhu Kempegowda is a title that both parties can use. We didn't know that Nagabharana was doing a film and invested a lot of money into the pre-production of our venture. Once we vacate the stay, we will go on floors immediately."

Nadaprabhu Kempegowda will go on floors once Dhananjaya finishes his immediate commitments on Uttarakaanda and Anna From Mexico. The actor has also signed up for Halagali, a period film set during the Indian freedom struggle, which was earlier meant to be helmed by Darling Krishna.

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