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Posted at: Jun 27, 2019, 8:30 AM; last updated: Jun 27, 2019, 10:49 AM (IST)

What’s the catch?

Catch-phrases often take a life beyond the original source. So, is wrestler Brock Lesnar’s advocate who has locked horns with Ranveer Singh justified in his over-reaction?

Manpriya Singh

Last week, even the non-WWE fans in India came to know of this big guy called Brock Lesnar and even his manager Paul Heyman. Hey man, what did he do? Threatened to sue Ranveer Singh with a lawsuit because the actor twisted and then tweeted the catch-phrase popularly used by the wrestler, “Eat. Sleep. Conquer. Repeat.”

Ranveer Singh being Ranveer Singh, joyous after the ICC World Cup match between India and Pakistan tweeted, “Eat. Sleep. Dominate. Repeat. The name is Hardik. Hardik Pandya.” So far, the owners of James Bond franchise are fine with their catch-phrase being twisted and used. But not Paul Heyman, since he went on record to say, “It got serious because Hardik Pandya instead of focusing on himself spends all of his days dreaming of being a successful global star like Brock Lesnar, and Ranveer Singh decided to play Paul Heyman with him and put out a tweet. 

But in doing so, two of them stole a catch-phrase that is a worth a lot of money to my client Brock Lesnar and me. They violated our copyright. This is something that we take very seriously and it is something they should not have done. It’s their move as to what happens next.”  While we wait how the drama unfolds, in the meantime we let the creative heads from the industry, speak their mind.  

Acknowledge the writer

Anjali Khurana, screenwriter and lyricist, who has recently written films like Munda Faridkotia, doesn’t understand the harm in giving credit where it is due. “Whenever a phrase, a quote or saying is used, it is ideal to give credit to the original writer. They are meant to be used, but just give a little credit line acknowledging the writer. I am not asking for money or anything else, just acknowledgement.”  

Give credit, unless it’s iconic 

Famous Punjabi writer and director Jass Grewal says, “Ideally, credit should be given to the original writer of the catch-phrase or the slogan.  After all, you are borrowing someone’s words or idea.  And credit should especially be given where it might be mistaken that the person using the phrase has coined it.  That misleads.”  He adds, “But when it comes to dialogues from Sholay, then things are different. We all have our clever spin on dialogues like, Kitney Aaadmi The.” 

So, it is all contextual.  Speaking of context, of course, if they knew the over-enthusiastic nature of our B-town actor, things may have been different. It wasn’t for commercial mileage, it was just for fun.  Nor were they aware of the sanctity (solemnity) of India-Pakistan clash over cricket. In the same breath that takes us to now iconic, ‘Winter is Coming’ from Game of Thrones or the political slash patriotic favourite, How’s The Josh. Or the used to death, ‘The name is Bond. James Bond.’ 

On the same note, sports anchor Karan Ambardar, opines, “It’s unnecessary what Lesnar’s manager is doing. Just because you have a copyright on certain words doesn’t mean anything remotely close to the phrase is also owned by him. We should all use this catch-phrase or something similar, let’s see if I get a notice from him.” What do you think? The house is open for debate. 

manpriya@tribunemail.com

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