PUTRAJAYA, March 21 — A Malaysian novelist won his case in the Court of Appeal today against local film producer Datuk Yusof Haslam.
Elias Idris, 64, had sued Yusof and his actor-director son Syamsul and their company, Skop Production Sdn Bhd for copyright infringement over his novel, Aku Bohsia.
The novelist who used the pseudonym Anne Natasha Nita, claimed there were many similarities between his book and the respondents’ movie, Bohsia: Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam, in terms of plot, characters and message.
However, his case was dismissed by the High Court.
Today, Elias obtained a declaration that the respondents had violated his copyrights for his novel and an order for the respondents to pay him damages, to be assessed by the High Court.
The three-man panel comprising Justices Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Datuk Dr Badariah Sahamid and Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan granted Elias the orders after reversing the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s dismissal of his lawsuit.
Justice Abang Iskandar who chaired the panel also set aside a High Court decision ordering Elias to pay RM100,000 in damages to the respondents in their counter-claim against him (Elias) for alleged defamation.
The panel further granted Elias an injunction order to prevent the respondents, their agent from further publishing, broadcasting, distributing, and reproduction of the film without his written consent.
The respondents were also ordered to deliver all infringed copies and goods to Elias or his nominee.
The panel also gave an order for accounts to be taken to identify profit received from the alleged copyright infringement and monies to be paid to Elias including with interests, and awarded him RM40,000 in legal costs.
Elias filed the lawsuit against Yusof, 62, whose real name is Md Yusof Md Aslam; Syamsul, 32; and Skop Production, on Nov 24, 2014.
The defendants filed a countersuit against Elias over his two allegedly defamatory online articles, uploaded on Nov 7 and Nov 16, 2014.
In their defence filed on Jan 5, 2015, Yusof, known for his Gerak Khas drama; Syamsul; and Skop Production said they had never read or even heard of the novel and denied basing the film on it.
Skop Production Sdn Bhd released the movie in 2009.
Elias was represented by lawyer K. Periasamy in the appeal, while the respondents, by Aizul Rohan Anuar.
Outside the court, Aizul Rohan said he had received instructions from his clients to appeal to the Federal Court. — Bernama