Director Asgar Farhadi has been found guilty of plagiarism by an Iranian court to drop the idea of his film, A herofrom a documentary made by one of his former students.
Tehran court rules Farhadi violates student copyright Azadeh Masihzadeh, taking key elements of her documentary about A hero without crediting Masihzadeh. The former student screened her documentary All winners All losers in his class in 2014 at the Karnameh Institute after he found the subject and created the story itself.
“While most of the other characters that the other students followed had already been interviewed on national television or other media programs, Ms. Masihzadeh did all the research to find her story and character on her own and independently,” she said. Negar Eskandarfar, the director told Carname ABC News.
Farhadi’s sentence will now be decided by a second judge, but, per IndieWire, the director faces resignation from “all proceeds from the screening of the film in cinemas or online” or even from prison. Masihzadeh has been judged innocent in a separate case for defamation that was formed against her. If the court found Masihzadeh guilty of defaming Farhadi, she could have been sentenced to 74 lashes and two years in prison.
It should be noted that while Masihzadeh signed a document (which has been judged Meaningless) which “allowed” Farhadi to receive praise for the idea of the documentary, Masihzadeh filed a lawsuit against Farhadi only after she filed a defamation lawsuit against her, accusing her of “spreading lies about him”.
The ruling issued by the Tehran court is said to be binding and cannot be appealed, with local reports stating that the Tehran Court of Culture and Mass Media “examined the documents and the reasons provided for its occurrence.” Mr. Farhadi’s crime and his commission is sufficient and has issued a final order to summon Mr. Farhadi to trial “. However, Farhadi’s lawyer, Kaveh Rad, posted on Instagram that the verdict is indeed still ongoing.
“The decision is not the final verdict of the court and is considered part of the trial process and then the case will be re-examined first in the second criminal court and then in the appellate court,” Rand said. He wrote (per Deadline).