Is this the epilogue of the litigation which opposes the director and screenwriter Mass SECK to the French television channel? If justice is reluctant to rule, for the Association of Audiovisual Technicians and Senegalese Cinema (ATACS), the verdict is found.
In the press release below, the said Association decides in favor of the Senegalese director and affirms that the complainant “presented a number of documents from 1998 to 2019, about his serial work originally called ‘Division X’ which would have been jointly plagiarized by Canal + Overseas and Keevu ”. Elements which prove that the incriminated series is indeed its property. To demonstrate the contrary, ATACS asks the French channel to provide “the first 20 pages of the scenario dating from 2014, the deposit of the scenario at the French authors’ office, the deposit of Copyright and the contracts of assignment of copyright. from the Serie “.
We, Members of the ATACS association, freely bringing together audiovisual and cinema technicians from Senegal, hereby wish to make a press release about a complaint for plagiarism concerning the Series: Sakho and Mangane produced and broadcast by Canal Plus Africa and Keewu from Mr. Mass Seck.
The plaintiff, Senegalese graphic designer, screenwriter and director, member of ATACS, Mr. Mass SECK presented to the management committee of ATACS, a number of documents dated from 1998 to 2019, about his serial work originally called ‘Division X ‘which would have been plagiarized jointly by Canal Plus Overseas and Keewu and renamed’ Sakho and Mangane ‘; in which there are:
– storyboards drawn by Monsieur Seck in 1998, preparing the writing of his serial bible with the different characters.
– Its accused of submitting this scenario to the BSDA in 2011, which has meanwhile become the SODAV.
– Email exchanges with various people including members of Canal Plus, Canal Plus Overseas, Canal Plus Afrique, such as Madame Cécile Girardin and Monsieur YYYY, between 2013 and 2015.
– Email exchanges with RTS, but also other partners such as Racine Sy between 2013 and 2015.
– The reports of the request to the Senegalese justice to rule on plagiarism, as well as the reports of the opposing party, namely Keewu and Canal Plus Afrique.
– The conclusion of the Senegalese justice which ruled on plagiarism in summary proceedings indicated that it was not competent to rule on plagiarism, hence a second formal notice by Mr. Seck’s lawyers and a second seizure of the Justice, but this time from the Dakar Tribunal de Grand Instance – TGI-.
Procedure still in progress.
So to this day and this for the second time, Senegalese justice is seized to decide on this dispute.
– Finally, we watched the pilot which had been presented to the members of Canal Plus Overseas in 2015, read the bible – with presentations of the characters ect, the scenario, the budget and the financing plan of the first two seasons of the series which was called at the time Division X.
These last elements mentioned: Bible, scenario, pilot, budget and financing plan, were validated by Madame Cécile Girardin on June 20, 2015.
Emails in which Madame Cécile Girardin clearly indicates that Canal Plus Overseas agrees to develop its ‘Division X.’ series. Also in this email Mrs. Girardin suggests to Mr. Seck to come back to her for any requests for information on this subject.
Unfortunately, Mr. Seck never received, following this email from Mrs. Girardin of the Canal Plus Overseas company, an option contract concerning his copyright and a technical director contract, if only during the development period. of said series.
And 3 years after these facts Mr. Seck discovered on TV the adaptation of his crime series project under the name of ‘Sakho and Mangane’.
We, a member of the ATACS steering committee, were convinced by the veracity of Mr. Seck’s statements, following a precise examination of the said documents for several reasons:
The first is that we know that the artistic elements of the ‘Division X’ series are extremely similar to those of ‘Sakho and Mangane’, from the characters to the dramaturgy, places, stakes and aesthetics.
We were also struck by the absence of contracts justifying the chain of rights on the part of Canal Plus Overseas and Keewu.
There is no evidence to prove the veracity of the facts announced by Canal Plus and Keewu, namely:
– What is the proof that the first 20 pages of the scenario, dating from 2014, of Mr. Niang are indeed those of the series? And where are these documents?
– Where is the deposit of the scenario of Sakho and Mangane at the office of the French authors, namely either the SCAM or SACD, in the name of Mr. NIANG?
– And if this copyright has been deposited, when does it date?
– Where are the copyright assignment contracts for the series between Monsieur Niang and Canal Plus? And again, what are the dates?
Canal Plus Overseas and Keewu did not provide all of these documents during the first summary proceedings. And to this day still have not provided them and for what reasons?
This is why we, members of ATACS, far from wanting to replace Justice, but whose aim of our association is to protect the economic, moral, artistic and financial rights of our members, kindly ask Canal Plus Overseas and Keewu to provide these documents necessary to prove their authorship on the work Sakho and Mangane; otherwise, otherwise, we ask them to admit in good faith, their plagiarism and to restore Mr. Mass SECK to his rights and to compensate him accordingly.
We are prepared to hear and meet with the opposing party, as any amicable resolution may be desirable for the good of our growing audiovisual industry.
A strong position of the Association of Audiovisual Technicians and Senegalese Cinema which could encourage Canal + to review its copy.