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Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor dies aged 79

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MUMBAI — Veteran Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor — a star of 1970s Indian cinema — died on Monday in Mumbai after a long illness, his family said. He was 79.

The multiple award-winning actor died at a hospital in Mumbai on Monday evening, his nephew Randhir Kapoor told the Press Trust of India news agency. His nephew Mohit Marwah confirmed the news on Twitter.

Kapoor was reportedly battling old age-related problems and under constant medical supervision.

Shashi — the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, a pioneer of Hindi film and theater — appeared in more than 175 films, winning over fans with his charm and suave good looks.

His most memorable roles were in such films as ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile’ (Whenever The Flowers Bloom, 1965), ‘Kabhi Kabhie’ (Sometimes, 1976), and ‘Kalyug’ (Age of Downfall, 1981). He had aslo produced several hit films like Junoon, Kalyug, Vijeta and Utsav.

Apart from directing 1991 Amitabh Bachchan-starrer Ajooba, Shashi Kapoor also directed a Russian movie Vozvrashcheniye Bagdadskogo Vora in 1988.

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Shashi Kapoor was honoured with the coveted Padmabhushan by the government of India in 2011.

He was also adored for his role opposite Bollywood veteran Amitabh Bachchan in the hit movie ‘Deewaar’ (The Wall, 1975) in which he delivered one of Hindi cinema’s most famous lines — ‘Mere paas maa hai’ (I have a mother).

Tributes poured in from the world of Indian cinema and politics following news of Kapoor’s death.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he was “saddened” by Kapoor’s death. “His brilliant acting will be remembered by generations to come,“” wrote Modi.

“Shashi uncle was not only a great star and a passionate filmmaker, but also a wonderful human being. His work has always given Indian audiences great joy,” Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan said in a statement posted on Twitter.

Kapoor was born in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata in 1938. He began his career early, assisting in his father’s traveling theater company and appearing on stage in a production of ‘Shakuntala,’ a classic Hindu love story, at the age of six.

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Kapoor was among the first Indian actors to work abroad, with roles in Merchant Ivory films such as “The Householder” (1963), “Heat and Dust” (1983) and “Shakespeare Wallah” (1965).

In 1958, Kapoor married English actress Jennifer Kendal. They had three children together. Kendal died of cancer aged just 51 in 1984.

He is survived by three children, Kunal Kapoor, Sanjana Kapoor and Karan Kapoor.

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US judge dismisses Taylor Swift ‘Shake It Off’ copyright lawsuit

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LOS ANGELES — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing singer Taylor Swift of stealing lyrics for her song ‘Shake It Off’ on Tuesday ruling the phrases in question were not sufficiently original to merit copyright protection.

Songwriters Sean Hall and Nathan Butler brought the suit last fall, arguing that the chorus of the song borrowed from their 2001 composition, ‘Playas Gon’ Play’.

In his ruling, Judge Michael W Fitzgerald held that combining the phrases, ‘Playas gonna play’ and ‘haters gonna hate,’ does not entail sufficient originality to warrant copyright protection, Variety reported.

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Swift’s 2014 song reached No 1 on the pop charts and marked her evolution from country to pop music.

Swift’s lyrics from the chorus of ‘Shake It Off’ are, ‘the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate.’

Attorneys for Swift asked US District Judge Michael Fitzgerald in January to dismiss the case.

“In order for such short phrases to be protected under the Copyright Act, they must be more creative than the lyrics at issue here,” Fitzgerald ruled, according to court papers.

The songwriters who sued Swift did not allege Swift’s song stole musical elements, the judge said, and phrases about players and haters existed in pop culture before 2001.

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