Injunction against song ‘Varaha Roopam’ in cinemas, OTT, digital streaming platforms

This year, on February 8, the Kerala High Court stated that Varaha Roopam in Kantara was a plagiarised version of Navarasam.

Published - April 15, 2023 08:04 am IST - KOZHIKODE

A still from ‘Kantara’

A still from ‘Kantara’

The Kozhikode First Additional District Court has issued an interim injunction prohibiting the use of the song Varaha Roopam from the Kannada film Kantara in cinemas, besides OTT and digital streaming platforms, citing prima facie violation of the Copyright Act.

Judge K.E. Salih directed to give “due credit” to the music band Thaikkudam Bridge and Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Company Ltd, which holds the copyright of the Navarasam track that Kantara apparently infused in the 2022 movie’s song Varaha Roopam.

The court pointed out that the music director of the track had himself admitted to taking “inspiration” from Thaikkudam Bridge’s Navarasam (2015), popular for its fusion of rock music with Indian classical, while maintaining an individualistic style, tempo, and melody.

The court passed an interim order on Thursday while deciding on the allegations of plagiarism against Varaha Roopam. The plaintiff claimed that Varaha Roopam had infringed copyright laws by copying tracks from Navarasam. The move for a legal action was initiated last year, soon after the release of Kantara on September 30.

Last week, the Kozhikode Chief Judicial Magistrate, after perusing the case diary, had directed the police to seize documents relating to the plagiarised song under Section 64 of the Copyright Act 1957.

Chief Judicial Magistrate S. Sooraj, on April 5, also instructed the investigating officer to seize the digital audio workstation and all plates used for the purpose of making infringing copies of the work and to collect evidence to determine whether the music director had violated copyright rules.

This order was issued after Mathrubhumi filed a complaint alleging that the investigation was not progressing in the right direction. The Kozhikode court further instructed the investigating officer to provide the court with a progress report on the case by May 4.

This year, on February 8, the Kerala High Court stated that Varaha Roopam in Kantara was a plagiarised version of Navarasam.

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