Bollywood filmmaker pays up for plagiarised song

May 2008

Music publishing

A Bollywood filmmaker has been ordered to pay 20 million rupees ($5 million) to a songwriter after the Bombay High Court ruled that Mumbai-based Rakesh Roshan’s film production company Filmkraft had copied fromm a sing by composer Ram Sampath. Sampath claimed two tracks and two remixes from Roshan’s latest film “Krazzy 4” were lifted from a jingle Sampath composed last year for a commercial for Sony Ericsson mobiles. Mr Justice D. G. Karnik ruled that Rakesh and his composer brother, Rajesh Roshan (who composed the “Krazzy 4” soundtrack), were “prima facie guilty of copyright violations and plagiarism,” adding that “to my untrained ear, the music (in the two works) appeared to be similar.” Initially the the court had passed a stay order (injunction) blocking the film’s release until the disputed songs were removed. But that order was lifted and the case dismissed after Filmkraft agreed to pay Sampath damages and give due credit.

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