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Krazzy 4 music is a copy, declares Bombay HC

By A Rediff Correspondent
Last updated on: April 10, 2008 14:43 IST
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In a major boost to music director Ram Sampath, the Bombay high court has upheld the fact that the music of Krazzy 4 is a copy.

Sampath had filed a case against the film's producer, Rakesh Roshan, and music director, Rajesh Roshan, stating that he was not given due credit for Krazzy 4's music. His name was not mentioned on Krazzy 4's audio CDs, and that's the reason he sought legal action and filed a case of copyright infringement.

He is now seeking damages of Rs 2 crores against the Roshans.

The court has instructed the Roshans to delete two songs, Krazzy 4 and BreakFree, if they want to release the film on April 11. This means that Hrithik Roshan's and Shah Rukh Khan's item numbers will have to be removed from the film.

"To my untrained ear, the music (in two works) appeared to be similar," Justice Karnik, who listened to both Sampath's work for a Sony Ericsson cellphone advertisement, and the two songs composed by Rajesh Roshan for the film, said.

The court also stopped the sale of film's audio CDs and cassettes containing the two songs as well as the ringtones based on these songs.

The court also observed that Roshans lacked the bonafides as they changed their earlier stand -- revealed by an SMS sent to Sampath by Hrithik Roshan -- that Sony Ericsson had given them a No Objection Certificate for the use of Sampath's tunes in the film.

But when matter the reached the court, they gave up this stand, and denied that there was any infringement of copyright, Justice Karnik noted.

Sampath had claimed that Hrithik had sent him an SMS on April 4 -- after the case for copyright infringement was filed -- that the matter could be sorted out by discussion. Hrithik had also said in the SMS that Roshans had bought the rights to the tune from Sony Ericsson.

The judge held that though the advertisement jingle was only for a few seconds, it was the 'catch phrase or hook phrase' that was repeated in the songs.

Roshans' lawyer asked for a stay on the order so that they could appeal but the judge declined the request.

Opposing the interim injunction, Roshans had offerred to give a bank guarantee of Rs 25 lakh to the court to be encashed if Sampath's case was proven.

But the judge noted that the company, which bought the music rights for the film, had given a guarantee of Rs 2.5 crore by way of royalty. In view of this, Roshans' offer of the Rs 25 lakh bank guarantee was a 'pittance', Justice Karnik said in his interim order.

The judge observed that Sampath had proved 'prima facie that musical work in two songs in Krazzy 4 and their remixes were a copy of the work in the advertisement' for Sony Ericsson.

He also noted that three circumstances went against the Roshans. First, an expert, Shiv Mathur, has stated on affidavit (produced by Sampath) that the tunes were similar. Secondly, there was an indirect admission by Roshans' that a small part of advertisement tunes had been used in the songs. Finally, the judge himself, 'a man illiterate in music,' thought that the songs in the movie reminded him of the tunes in the advertisement.

During the hearing, Sony Ericsson did not claim that they held copyright to Sampath's work.

The judge also refuted the argument that Sampath moved court late, and if an injunction is granted now, it will cause great inconvenience to producers.

He noted that while Sampath sent the legal notice in the last week of March, the prints of film were sent to distributors in first week of April, after the case was filed in the court.

Sources close to Roshans' lawyers said they would move the division bench of high court in the afternoon, to get a stay on the order.

Inspite of repeated calls, the Roshans refused to take phone calls from

With inputs from PTI

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A Rediff Correspondent