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Zee-STAR row over ‘Betiyaan’: STAR blinks, renames show

19-September-2006
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Zee-STAR row over ‘Betiyaan’: STAR blinks, renames show

The conflict that was brewing between Zee Telefilms and STAR Entertainment in early September over a similarly named show appears to have resolved. While both channels are going ahead with their respective shows, STAR has agreed to rename their show as ‘Betiyaan Apni Yaa… Paraya Dhan’.

Zee’s show, titled ‘Ghar Ki Lakshmi… Betiyaan’, will debut on September 25, 2006, while STAR One will launch its ‘Betiyaan’ in October 2006.

It may be recalled that Zee had issued a legal notice to STAR Entertainment on September 7, 2006, challenging the latter on the ground that it was also producing a show titled ‘Ghar Ki Lakshmi… Betiyaan’.

The legal notice served by Zee Telefilms on STAR stated, “It has come to our attention from media sources that you have produced and/or intend to produce or broadcast a television programme/serial under the title ‘Betiyaan’. You propose to launch the same in the month of October, 2006 on your channel STAR One. We are of the view that the programme includes elements that are strikingly similar to our programme ‘Ghar Ki Lakshmi… Betiyaan’, launched and proposed to be carried on our channel Zee TV.”

STAR had the countered saying that the writer of the show, Rekha Modi, who is developing the show for STAR, had registered the show a few months before Zee Telefilms had.

Commenting on the state of affairs, Shailja Kejriwal, Senior Creative Director, STAR Entertainment, said, “Quite honestly, I really don’t know what Zee was talking about. Rekha came to us with this idea and had said that she had taken the show to Zee but because of creative differences with the Zee team, she didn’t want to make the show with them. We liked the idea and accepted it. Then one fine day, Zee issues a legal notice to us. We checked with our legal department and have given all the documents we have, we are on the right side of the law.”

She added, “I don’t know what Zee is making so I’m only reacting to Zee’s notice to us, which said that apparently we are making what they are making. Now if that is true, and they are making Rekha’s idea, then I think it is unfair for a channel to take on an individual writer like that. By their own admission and the registration dates they submitted, Rekha has registered the show months before Zee, so I’m, in fact, wondering why are they making what we are making.”

Giving Zee Telefilm’s point of view, the channel’s Corporate Communication Head, Ashish Kaul, said, “We were concerned that STAR was using the same title as ours. We don’t know their storyline, but we had the impression that Rekha Modi was making a claim to the tile, which has been with Creative Eye for four years now. Considering that they have changed the title, I don’t think there is any issue now.”

As mentioned earlier, STAR Entertainment has renamed its ‘Betiyaan…’ as ‘Betiyaan Apni Yaa… Paraya Dhan’. Kaul added here, “We’ve had a similar experience before when STAR India was making something with the title “Sa Re Ga Ma’, I believe, for their channel STAR Vijay. We served a legal notice to them then and they had taken the show off.”

The name issue settled, it would now be interesting to see if Zee would be able to cash in on the first mover’s advantage, and also whose ‘Betiyaan’ manages to capture the audience’s hearts.

Also see:

Zee TV issues legal notice to STAR Entertainment on ‘Betiyaan’

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