PUTRAJAYA: Local film producer Datuk Yusof Haslam and two others won in their appeal over the Court of Appeal’s decision on the copyright infringement of a novel titled “Aku Bohsia” filed against them by a novelist.
A Federal Court five-man bench led by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Seri David Wong Dak Wah unanimously allowed the appeal brought by Yusof, his actor-director son Syamsul and their company, Skop Production Sdn Bhd.
“We are of the view that the Court of Appeal fell into error when overruling the High Court’s decision (which had ruled in favour of the appellants),“ said Justice Wong who presided over the appeal with Federal Court Judges Tan Sri Ramly Ali, Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan.
The panel ordered the novelist, Elias Idris, to pay cost of RM60,000 costs to the appellants. Yusof and Syamsul, who were in court, were overjoyed with the court’s decision.
The court made the ruling after hearing submissions by lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, representing the three appellants, while lawyers K. Periasamy and Abd Razak Ismail acted for the novelist.
The appellants had appealed against the Court of Appeal’s decision on March 21, 2017 in allowing Elias’s copyright lawsuit against Yusof, Syamsul and Skop Production, who then obtained leave to appeal against ruling from the Federal Court on July 24, 2018.
The novelist (Elias), who used the pseudonym Anne Natasha Nita, claimed there were many similarities between his book “Aku Bohsia” and the applicants’ movie, “Bohsia: Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam”, in terms of plot, characters and message.
The Court of Appeal had granted Elias’ appeal for an order to declare that the three had violated his copyrights for his novel and an order for them to pay him damages, to be assessed by the High Court and had reversed the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s dismissal of his lawsuit against the three.
Elias filed the lawsuit against Yusof, whose real name is Md Yusof Md Aslam; Syamsul and Skop Production, on Nov 24, 2014.
Yusof, Syamsul and Skop Production filed a counter-suit 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. — Bernama