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Judge says Krazzy 4 tracks are copied, case settled out-of-court

The Bombay High Court on Thursday restrained film producer Rakesh Roshan from releasing the movie Krazzy 4 with certain...

| Mumbai |
April 11, 2008 11:55:59 pm

The Bombay High Court on Thursday restrained film producer Rakesh Roshan from releasing the movie Krazzy 4 with certain songs that jingle-composer Ram Sampath had contended were plagiarised from tunes he had composed earlier. Soon after his court-room victory, Sampath reached a settlement with Roshan and consented to the film releasing on Friday with all its songs intact.

Sampath had moved court claiming that his tunes for a cellphone brand’s advertisements had been copied by music composer Rajesh Roshan in four songs of Krazzy 4. On Thursday afternoon, however, Sampath reached a settlement with Roshan, and both parties approached Justice D G Karnik for revocation of his earlier order.

Sampath had sought damages of Rs 2 crore and an interim stay to the film’s release. The court, in its interim order in the morning, had accepted his case that his tunes were plagiarised for the title track Krazzy4 and Break-Free, and their remixed versions.

During the course of arguments earlier, Justice Karnik heard both the jingle and the film’s songs.

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Subsequently, the judge observed: “To my untrained ear, both the musical works appeared to be similar.”

“I was unmistakably reminded of the work of the plaintiff after listening to songs in the film,” Justice Karnik said.

He then stated that this was precisely the test as to whether the song reminds the layman of an earlier work. If yes, then it amounts of infringement of copyright.

Justice Karnik further observed that in every song there is a “catch-phrase or hook-phrase” which reminds the listener of the song every time he/ she listens to it. Sampath’s tune and the film’s songs shared such a catch-phrase, the judge observed.

Apart from this, the judge also took note of two circumstances that went against the Roshans. First, an expert, Shiv Mathur, had stated on affidavit (produced by Sampath) that the tunes were similar.

Secondly, there was an indirect admission by the Roshans in their affidavit-in-reply that a small part of the advertisement tunes had been used in the songs.

Meet Ram Sampath

Just another jingle-maker until Wednesday, 30-year-old Ram Sampat on Thursday grabbed headlines after winning a copyright case against Bollywood biggies the Roshans.

An elated Sampath, who realised mid-March that his compositions had been used in the Krazzy 4 tracks, says: “After approving it from music expert Shiv Mishra, I informed the production house and tried to keep a low profile, but I was not given the right treatment.”

The movie is now set for a release on Friday with his claim sealed by a huge settlement of about Rs 2 crore. “I settled for a huge amount as I hope this kind of incident does not occur again and this could act as a deterrent,” says Sampath.

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