In what is being hailed as a landmark judgment, a Bollywood filmmaker has been ordered to pay 20 million rupees ($5 million) in a music-copyright infringement case.
The Bombay High Court ruled that Mumbai-based Bollywood filmmaker Rakesh Roshan’s film production company Filmkraft must pay ad jingle composer Ram Sampath the sum, following a hearing April 10.
Sampath claimed two tracks and two remixes from Roshan’s latest film “Krazzy 4” — which was released theatrically on April 11 — were lifted from a jingle Sampath composed last year for a commercial for Sony Ericsson mobiles.
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.”
The court first passed a stay order blocking the film’s release until the disputed songs were removed.
But that order was over-turned and the case dismissed after Filmkraft agreed to pay Sampath damages and give due credit as per the first legal notice he filed on March 24, just after the “Krazzy 4” soundtrack was released on leading Mumbai-based label T-Series, which also acquired the film’s home-video rights.