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Kerala court bans 'Varaha Roopam' song in theatre, OTTT over copyright violation

Kerala court bans Varaha Roopam song in theatre, OTTT over copyright violation

Kochi: A Kerala court has issued an interim injunction to stop the use of a controversial song from the Kannada action thriller 'Kantara' on all platforms, including theatres, OTT, and digital streaming, due to a prima facie violation of the Copyright Act.

The court has directed that credit should be given to Thaikkudam Bridge and Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Company Ltd, who hold the copyright of the original 'Navarasam' track adapted for the song 'Varaha Roopam' in the 2022 movie.

The move for legal action was initiated last year, shortly after the release of ‘Kantara’ on September 30.

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 the interim order on Thursday while deciding on the allegations of plagiarism against ‘Varaha Roopam’. The plaint claimed that ‘Varaha Roopam’ had infringed copyright laws by copying tracks from ‘Navarasam’.

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 (copyright infringement).

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 the 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’.

PTI input

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