The Madras High Court has dismissed a civil suit of an actress seeking Rs 2.50 crore damages from a coconut oil manufacturing firm in connection with use of advertisement commercials in which she had acted. Kajal Agarwal had filed the suit claiming the firm used an advertisement film in which she had endorsed its products, violating the agreement between them. She maintained that the firm had no right to use the advertisement materials of 2008 in subsequent years without her consent. Her claim was opposed by the firm which contended that there was absolutely no violation.
The actress had sought a permanent injunction against the advertisement commercial and damages. After conclusion of arguments of both sides, Justice T Ravindran in his recent order held that the firm is the owner of the copyright in respect of the advertisement commercial, according to the Copyright Act. The act says copyright shall subsist with the firm for 60 years and the actress was not entitled to complain of any violation of the agreement beyond the period fixed in it. As an actor, she had already received remuneration for her performance and no subsisting rights survive in the cinematograph work in her favour,the judge noted in his order. Also, the firm has absolute right to screen the film to the public and the actress was not entitled to damages or permanent injunction.