Saturday, January 02, 2010

3 Idiots, 5.SomeOne & Intellectual Property Rights

Those who have read Five Point Someone can co-relate how much of the book has been derived in the Movie. 3 Idiots delivered the same delight, which is being delivered by Five Point Someone to its readers. Obviously, the time constraint of a movie cannot go into that many details as a book can. Movie is not an exact replica of the book; it has got its own level of delight through the twists and modifications done in the story of the book. But, it is sad to know that it is being claimed that movie is not the book. In fact, the movie goes a little the time line where the story ended in the book, but it revisited a in-numerous instances of the book through the flashback.

One simple question to one and all, would ‘3 Idiots have been possible if there was no ‘Five Point Someone’. Answer is No.  There is no denying to this fact. Also 3 Idiots was the most awaited movie of the year because folks wanted to revisit the delight of Five Point Someone.

To analyze the case, we have to understand the fundamental difference in these two stories. 


  1. 3 Idiot is a Movie, FPS is a novel
  2. 3 Idiots is stretched a bit forward where FPS ended, i.e. post college life of the characters.
  3. Narrator wanted to be a photographer, which was not in the case of FPS
  4. Narrator didn’t had any affair with the leading lady, but the other guy had
  5. One of 3 Idiots was topper, in FPS all of them were 5 pointers
  6. The helpful professor was missing in 3 idiots
  7. Final year student who committed suicide was a new character
  8. Omi’s Role was a missing character in FPS
  9. Fake Identity of Rancho, and himself being a renowned scientist in the climax was not a part of FPS.
  10. Manifestation of Contemporary Issues in 3 Idiots, which were different in the book timeline(decade of 90s) .

There are few more unlisted differences. But, these branches of a story cannot exist without the stem, which in writers view is nothing but the FPS. These differences are evident only because of the big evident similarity.

IPR Perspective: FPS and 3I controversy is an example taken to understand the Laws, Rights and Ethics related with Intellectual Property. As per Wikipedia definition of copyright is: -

Copyright is a form of intellectual property that gives the author of an original work exclusive right for a certain time period in relation to that work, including its publication, distribution and adaptation, after which time the work is said to enter the public domain. Copyright applies to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete and fixed in a medium.

Based on above Chetan Bhagat has all sorts of Legal and Moral right to get his work acknowledged for the success of 3 Idiots. 3 Idiots has the idea snatched from FPS. Consider Omkara, the movie had courtesy to mention Shakespeare's Othello. However, the background was truly contemporary to Indian context. However, 3I used same background and story with the names of Characters changed. 

Othello is now in public domain, and Shakespeare wouldn't have bothered about his acknowledgement. On the contrary, ‘Five Point Someone’ is still not in Public domain, copyright remains with author and he deserves both moral and legal right to get his name acknowledged. 

It is sad that some people calling it publicity stunt for a person who is expressing views on the discomfort of seeing something publicly stolen from his wardrobe. Anyone would have reacted on such, and Chetan’s stand and approach in this matter is very sensible and appreciable.

It was sad to see, RK Hirani, who has induced ‘Jadu Ki Jhappi’, ‘GandhiGiri’ and in fact ‘All is Well’ to India's cultural thinking getting involve into this mess of name and blame. There is no surprise on Aamir speaking more than asked; it is his habit just continued from his rivalry episodes with Shahrukh. Current Affairs


  1. On a personal note IPR had been my favorite paper during my graduation days. Patents, Trademarks, Trade secrets, copyright, and G.I 's should not only be obeyed but also respected. This case in particular, the respect towards the IP was observed disobeyed. That is the reason why I got motivation to write this blog.


  2. Anonymous11:39 PM

    From the starting of shooting they were promoting 3i with the help of FPS, but how they ignored Chetan after the success of 3i is really astonishing.Chetan should have been given due credit for his book..

  3. Anonymous6:31 PM

    Hey Hi

    Rajeev you said it all correctly. In todays world where we give importance to creativity, area of interest,personal grooming, self motivation, innovation. How do we consider FPS not getting its credit. By all means the first stream of thought should always be appreciated and admired.



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