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Thursday, November 29, 2018

John Doe order could not constrain Tamil Rockers - Ranji 2.0

Meet John Doe was  a 1941 American comedy-drama film directed and produced by Frank Capra,  starring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck. The film was about a "grassroots" political campaign created unwittingly by a newspaper columnist with the involvement of a hired homeless man and pursued by the paper's wealthy owner.

The much hyped 2.0 ~ the sequel to Rajnikant starrer ‘Enthiran’ could suffer matching the expectations – as the original  kept the audience glued to its storyline – all credit to Sujatha, the great writer and the director Shankar.  The storyline was :  Dr Vaseegaran, a scientist working on alternative intelligence develops a humanoid  robot  which gets rejected by sinister designs.  At a point of time, the robot ‘Chitti’ asks why he has not been provided with ‘emotion’.  Dr Vaseegaran reprogrammes it with human feelings and emotions so that it could  distinguish between right and wrong. However things go wrong when Chitti falls in love with Sana (Aishwarya).   The making of Chitti and developing its functions was well depicted – I felt saddened when Chitti is dismantled [rather asked to self-destruct] and dumped in Perungudi  garbage !

That was not much -  when compared to the lumpen feeling I had  reading the travails of the little Jeeno, in the most interesting Sci-fi of Sujatha -  ‘En Iniya Eyanthira ’  and Meendum Jeano – the story of robotic dog woven subtly around a dictator who keeps the Nation under tight grip.  The real identity of the Head when known at the end  was the real classical revelation.    The pet robot dog which can think beyond humans, assists the dumb Nila in search of her spouse Sibi into bigger things.  Towards the end, the cute exceptional dog loses it memory and back up and fades away ! I felt very sad reading of its end  -  illogical it might sound, it was after all a story – yet  !!

Understand reading media reports that in  ‘2.0’, described as the “successor” to 2010’s ‘Enthiran’/‘Robot’, Dr Vaseegaran (Rajinikanth) is back as the scientist developing artificial intelligence. He works in a state-of-the-art lab with only one co-worker—NILA, an acronym of Nice Intelligent Lovely Assistant, played by Amy Jackson.  A freak event of all the cellphones from Tamil Nadu getting sucked into the troposphere leaves the state authorities flummoxed and the citizens bereft. Days later, a few prominent businessmen and politicians are brutally killed. The phones reappear in menacing, violent ways, mainly as an amorphous entity that begins to wreak fear and havoc. The Ministery intervenes and gives permission for the return of the disgraced Chitti who is kept in a museum !  ~ no more story, as I have neither seen nor am greatly interested.

The movie has been released today and there are mixed reports – fans hailing, detractors criticizing.  It will take time to get a settled view .. .. meantime, prior to its release,  Madras High Court  directed 37 internet service providers (ISPs) to block over 12,000 websites that exhibit pirated versions of Tamil movies. The list included more than 2,000 websites operated by ‘TamilRockers’. Justice M Sundar passed the order on Wednesday while allowing a plea moved by Lyca Productions Private Limited, the movie’s producer.

When the plea came up, Lyca’s counsel Vijayan Subramanian produced an extensive list of 12,564 illegal websites. The counsel contended that when ‘TamilRockers’ website is blocked, it immediately creates mirror websites by changing an insignificant part of the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) or any other extension, and are therefore able to reinstate the infringing material with minimal effort. Subramanian produced a probable list of extension of ‘TamilRockers’ and sought an injunction against all such websites. According to Lyca, its latest venture is 2.0, starring Rajinikanth, Akshay Kumar, Amy Jackson and others. Directed by S. Shankar, the movie is releasing in more than five languages, including Mandarin in China.

The trailer for the promotion of the film has been released. The official trailer, published on YouTube, has already garnered 13,089,498 views, the counsel said. While the company has acquired all exploitation and distribution rights including theatrical and music, besides other rights, including TV, internet, digital and home video exclusively, under the Copyright Act, it apprehended that such illegal websites might exhibit pirated versions of the film soon after its release. According to the counsel, the web pages and websites which provide such links are multifarious and are disbursed all over the globe. Such websites are allowed to be viewed in India through various internet service providers such as the 37 listed in the plea, the company contended.

An ‘Ashok Kumar’ or a ‘John Doe’ order, is an order in a suit brought against unknown and unnamed defendants, to counter the possibility that someone, somewhere, may possibly be infringing upon the rights of the plaintiff.   The term ‘John Doe’ order traces its origin all the way to medieval England. They usually indicated towards orders directed against persons or groups that are not identifiable. Oxford Dictionary defined John Doe as “Anonymous Party”. These orders are significant in modern days, where technology and the large influence of social media groups make identification quite hard. They are often used when the complaint finds it hard to identify the exact details of the accused who are protected by the expanse and anonymity particularly of the cyber world.

John Doe orders provide relief to the victims and grant timely protection of their rights by avoiding the delay and difficulties in seeking relief due to anonymity of the offenders. Ashok Kumar is the Indian substitute of John Doe and nobody knows how the name came to be used as a local substitute for John Doe.  But the name has gained legal acceptability, according to India Legal.

Call it by whatever name Western John Doe, Indian Ashok Kumar or any other local name – perhaps the efficacy of the order was nullified as by afternoon so many friends claimed that the film could so easily be downloaded from the web – and that Tamil Rockers has rocked more than Enthiran or 2.0.

Interesting ! ~ believe me, the photo at the start has nothing to do with the movie.. .. .. 2.0

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
29th Nov. 2018

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