28 Jan – Malaysian filmmaker Syamsul Yusof, eldest son of famed director Datuk Yusof Haslam, finds himself still in hot water when the lawsuit involving him and novelist Elias Idris failed to be settled out of court.
Syamsul's lawyer, Aizul Rohan Anuar, said that following the failure of a settlement, all parties involved will now proceed to a court hearing, Utusan Online reports.
The lawsuit was filed last year on 24 November, after the novelist noticed 85 percent similarities in the film "Bohsia: Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam" to his novel "Aku Bohsia".
Elias, 63, names 31-year-old Syamsul as the first defendant, 61-year-old Yusof Haslam as the second defendant and Skop Production along with Grand Brilliance Sdn. Bhd. (now known as Primeworks Studios Sdn. Bhd.) as the third defendant.
Based on Box Office Mojo's report, "Bohsia: Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam" collected USD1.2 million in Malaysia after its release on 23 April 2009.
Even though the movie was released in 2009, Elias only saw it in September or October last year on television. It was then that he noticed the similarities in theme, plot, characters and even the message in the film to his own 1995 novel, which he penned under the name Anne Natasha Nita.
Elias, represented by lawyer Kumaresvaren Ajey Mitran, reportedly sent letters to the defendants, according to The Malaysian Insider, informing them of the breach of copyright and demanded compensation but received no response in return.
However, the defendants have since refuted the claim, saying that they were previously unaware of the novel's existence and only owned a copy on 1 December 2014. Upon reading it, it was noticed that there were distinct differences between the two materials.
The court has set a hearing for 6 February 2015.