Boney Kapoor justifies stealing of fan’s creative video on Sridevi, lets himself down badly

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Filmmaker Boney Kapoor has justified stealing of a tribute video on Sridevi by a fan, identified as Saba Arif, an independent content creator.

File Photo

Reacting to allegations of plagiarism, Boney told Hindustan Times, “Almost all of the clips in the video are owned by me or Yash Raj Films, thus, giving us the right to use them as we like. The video was approved by me for IIFA, after a discussion with YRF, and I’d like to know what gives her (Saba Arif) the right to claim it as her own. If she has a problem with the video, she should reach out to me rather than just make such accusations.”

The issue had gained considerable attention on social media after Saba took to Facebook alleging plagiarism by IIFA. However, Boney’s bizarre justification has left many stunned. Far from showing grace and acknowledging a sweet gesture of a Sridevi fan, Boney has chosen to slam her in a bid to defend an indefensible act.

A Twitter user Gaana Srinivas brilliantly summed it up when she posted a series of tweets replying to Boney’s justification. She wrote, “We don’t have @BoneyKapoor’s agent on speed dial. This is how to get in touch with people who are famous. If there wasn’t coverage, it’s highly unlikely that we’d have gotten any response. So again, big ups to everyone who reported on the matter. @Hijiinxed did not, at any point, claim that she had rights to the clips in question. That was never up for debate. However, owning the clips doesn’t mean that you also own the rights to monetize her interpretation. That’s a huge disservice to the work of fans everywhere.”

Srinivas’s next two tweets read, “Celebrities become famous not through @IIFA or through events like these, but through the love of their fans. By stealing the work of a fan for profit and then not acknowledging them, I hope those responsible understand that they’re biting the hand that feeds them, literally.

“Conversations about the rights of fans have, I think, not made the news in India in recent times. If there’s any takeaway from this, I hope it’s that the work that fans do FOR FREE gets recognition and protection under the law in future.”

Saba Arif was quick to thank Srinivas for ‘saying it better than I ever could have.’

The stunning allegation of content theft by a company as reputed as Wizcraft, organisers of IIFA, had come hours after the award ceremony was broadcast on Colors TV last Sunday.

Saba had told an entertainment website, “They conveniently passed it as their own video.. If they are so incompetent that they can’t create their own videos, they have no right to steal someone else’s work.”She told Mid-Day, “I did that video out of my sheer love for Sridevi. Clearly, they have no respect for her legacy. This is a copyright violation. I don’t want to sue them, nor do I want monetary compensation. I want them to give me my due credit and tender an apology.”

By slamming a Sridevi fan, Boney has conducted himself with utter disgrace. There was an opportunity for him to correct the mistake by simply appreciating the young content creator for her beautiful and heartfelt tribute to his late wife.

Saba had made it clear that she did not want any financial remuneration. It wasn’t unreasonable for the fan in her to expect an acknowledgment for her creative work paying tribute to a legend she loved so dearly.

Who would have understood the value of acknowledgment for creative works than Boney himself, who’s been in the creative industry for decades now.

This is the video used by IIFA

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