Published On : Fri, Jan 11th, 2019

Roof9 runs Open Theatre sans license, violates movie copyright

Nagpur: Roof9 – the plush restro and lounge at Coffee House Square in Dharampeth has once again caught on the wrong end of the law as the restaurant has organised an Open Theatre without seeking valid permission while also violating copyright act by exhibiting a movie for public viewing. Despite bringing this to the knowledge of police, it kept waiting for the complaint to take legal action in the matter.

It may be mentioned that on Thursday evening, Roof 9 has organised the screening of Bollywood blockbuster movie Bahubali at what it projected as its first Open Theatre in Nagpur. Pre bookings were invited for the show as the entire venue was decked up with food and liquor. It was a thorough commercial event as only the entry was made free while the liquor and food was being charged. The show started from 8 pm on Thursday evening and ran till 1 am on Friday.

The special screening was conducted to attract more customers at its Open Theatre which was an added activity on the part of the restaurant.

The copyright norm was clearly violated as the movie was not meant for public exhibition without seeking prior permission from the makers, informed a source. Secondly, only other disturbance caused due to this ‘added’ arrangement would attract police action in case someone complains about this, as claimed by DCP Zone 2 Chinmay Pandit.

When Nagpur Today apprised him of the said violations. DCP Chinmay Pandit said that in case of copyright violations, the police can take action if complaint is received from competent authority, whereas conducting public events require permission of NMC. “We can take action if there is some noise or environmental pollution or someone complains about the disturbance,” he told NT.

Voicing his statement, Sitabuldi Police Inspector Hemant Kharabe told Nagpur Today, “The power to give permission for public events was earlier with police but now it is completely given to NMC’s Entertainment and Tax department. The police is authorised to intervene only in case of complaint of nuisance at the event.”

Previously too, the Roof 9 restaurant was found to be involved in running illegal activities such as operating hookah parlour, liquor joint and other dubious acts. On 4th February 2018 a team of Sitabuldi police led by the then DCP Nilesh Bharne raided the restaurant and seized huge stock of hookah material and liquor bottles being served to customers illegally.

A month later, the restaurant also invited the joint action of NMC’s Enforcement Department, police and Fire brigade in which the massive encroachment was demolished on 3rd March 2018. In the latest activity by Roof 9, now the administrator has turned a mute spectator