Oberoi Films wins 'Yeh Jo Hain Zindagi' rights legal battle
on 30 August 2001, 10 pm)
That's Life! It took all of 14 years of litigation for the rights
of the popular eighties comedy Yeh Joi Hai Zindagi to finally
land with the creator of the TV programme - the late filmmaker
the irony of it all is that quite a few people associated with
the serial are no more: Shafi Inamdar (who plays the harangued
but loved and loving husband of the beautiful Swaroop Sampat),
writer Sharad Joshi and Oberoi himself.
series - which ran successfully on DD National in 1984-85 - was
sponsored by toothpaste maker Vicco Laboratories (owned by the
Nagpur-based Pendharkar family which makes Vicco Vajradanti and
Turmeric cream) for all of 52-54 episodes.
DD increased the rates it was charging for the time slot, and
the Pendharkars decided they could not continue with the sponsorship.
Oberoi, who had made successful commercials for Vicco and Nirma,
then approached Brooke Bond for a sponsorship and got its backing.
The series continued for another 13-15 episodes before it was
pulled off when the Vicco promoters said they owned the rights
to it as they were the sponsors.
took the matter to the City civil court in Mumbai in 1986 which
turned down its plea. Vicco then approached the Mumbai high court
in 1990, which once again ruled in Oberoi's favour in 1998. Vicco
finally went to The Supreme Court in 2000, which also dismissed
its special leave petition seeking ownership of Yeh Jo Hain
Zindagi on 13 August 2001.
were no contracts signed; no one knew anything about copyright
then," says Ujwala Oberoi, Oberoi's daughter. "The Supreme Court
ruling is a vindication that the ownership of a creative product
lies with the person who creates it."
rib-tickling series featured other actors like Satish Shah, Rakesh
Bedi and Tikku Talsania drew nearly 93 per cent viewership in
says that the series has since been upgraded to digi beta format
(it was shot on low band) since then and quite a few channels
have evinced interest in buying up the rights. Well, that's life
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