Netflix has been slapped with a lawsuit related to its hit documentary, “Wild Wild Country” — which claims the producers stole “substantial portions” of copyrighted work from a company that represents Indian cult leader and series subject Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh aka “Osho.”
A filmmaker named Michael Hilow is also suing the streaming giant for copyright infringement, saying they used footage from his 1993 documentary “Rajneeshpuram: An Experiment to Provoke God” without his consent.
“Wild Country” directors Chapman Way and Maclain Way are named in the suit, along with Duplass Brothers Productions — the company who backed it. .
“Defendants Chapman Way, Maclain Way, Duplass Bros., and Netflix, have infringed and continue to infringe Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works by (and without Plaintiffs’ permission) producing, distributing, and streaming their six-episode series ‘Wild Wild Country,'” the complaint states. “Defendants appropriated substantial portions of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works throughout duration of “Wild Wild Country” (such portions referred to herein as ‘appropriated footage’). For instance, the first episode of the series alone includes roughly 88 discrete instances of appropriation, covering a total duration of at least over 12 minutes, or roughly a quarter of the episode’s total duration.”
The Swiss-based company that represents Bhagwan — Osho International Foundation — claims it told Netflix about the alleged infringement last year, but the company “failed to meaningfully respond.”
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