Asghar Farhadi cleared of ‘A Hero’ copyright infringement claims by Iranian authorities


Iranian director Asghar Farhadi

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi. Photo Credit: Michel Euler

Iranian authorities have dismissed copyright infringement charges against renowned director Asghar Farhadi and confirmed that his 2021 film, hero, did not unlawfully appropriate the views of any former student. Azadeh Masihzadeh, a former student of Farhadi's, accused him of stealing her concept for the film from a documentary he made during her class.

A group of three professors specializing in copyright law at the University of Tehran, along with four official art experts, conducted a thorough investigation of the claims. After careful review, he concluded that the allegations were unfounded and cleared Farhadi of any wrongdoing.

Masihzadeh argued that Farhadi advanced the story. hero From his documentary, all winners, all losers, which he produced under the guidance of Farhadi. Both projects revolve around the story of a prisoner who grapples with the moral dilemma of keeping a bag full of gold coins found during his release from debtors' prison.

However, the expert panel found that the events depicted in Masihzadeh's documentary were based on widely reported news stories and were not unique to his work. He determined that Farhadi's film took inspiration from the usual sources of reality and media coverage, as well as the instructional style of his workshop.

Furthermore, the panel highlighted important differences between hero and Masihzadeh's documentaries, as well as actual events and news reports. As a result, they concluded that Farhadi's film did not infringe any copyrights, emphasizing that retellings of publicly known events do not confer exclusive ownership rights.

With the decision of the Iranian authorities, Farhadi was cleared of plagiarism charges, allowing his work to continue to be celebrated without legal controversy.

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