Nothing has been stolen; no plagiarizing, no short payments, no complaints about the treatment. A contract had been signed and all payments that the contract dictated have been paid as per the terms agreed in the contract.
The issue at hand? Whether the influence of/ contribution of Bhagat’s book to the final script demanded credits right in the beginning of the roll or towards the end, as was the case.
It’s not a contractual dispute; it’s one of what Bhagat sees as a failure of natural fairness as decided by his sense of the ‘percentage’ of the script influenced by the book.
Move away from 3 Idiots and cut to advertising and advertising concepts.
Before you read on, take a look at this.
Who contributed how much to the idea is, in most instances in advertising, difficult to measure – but the need to be able to credit all those who were, indeed, contributors to an idea is paramount.
In Bhagat’s case, his beef is complex. Most people know that his book played a role in the idea of the film, there’s tacit acknowledgement of the fact by the producers and Aamir Khan. He’s been paid as promised. The issue of due credit is what rankles.
In advertising, getting credit for being involved in an award winning campaign can lead to promotions, salary hikes, increase in reputation, trips to Cannes or Singapore, international reputation, job offers and so on.
As long as the idea was limited to just a single entity, the advertising agency, as was the norm in the past, it wasn’t difficult to manage – and, in most instances, contributions were acknowledged fairly. It wasn’t difficult; all credit stayed at ‘home’.
When we come to the present day, with integrated campaigns with multiple entities playing a role in the final outcome, the allocation of credit is that much more difficult.
And in each instance where due credit has not been accorded, a few Chetan Bhagats will come to the fore.
And there will be indignant Aamir Khans and Hiranis and Chopras and Joshis wondering what the fuss is all about when you’ve been paid in full?
Because the issue will not be about the money. Money is simple.