Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Varaha Roopam row: Kerala High Court grants anticipatory bail to makers of Kantara booked under Copyright Act

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The High Court of Kerala has granted anticipatory bail to the makers of superhit  Kannada film ‘Kantara,’ who were booked on plagiarism charges over the ‘Varaha Roopam’ song under the Copyright Act, 1956.

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice A. Badharudeen granted anticipatory bail to Producer Vijay Kirgandur and Director Rishab Shetty on Wednesday om specific condition that they would not exhibit Kantara along with the music Varaha Roopam in the film till an interim order or final order was passed by a competent civil court in the matter. 

The High Court directed the petitioners to approach the competent civil court at the earliest over the allegations of copyright infringement.

A complaint was filed by rock band Thaikkudam Bridge and Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Co Ltd at Kozhikode Town Police Station, alleging that Varaha Roopam was an unauthorised copy of Thaikkudam’s ‘Navarasam’ song, which was aired on Kappa TV, owned by Mathrubhumi.

On the basis of this complaint, an FIR was registered at Kozhikode Town Police Station under Section 63 of the Copyright Act.

The makers of Kantara refuted the charges, stating that the complainants have already filed two separate civil suits under the Copyright Act. 

The District Courts of Kozhikode and Palakkad had termed the suits as non-maintainable and returned the plaints to be presented before a relevant Commercial Court, noted the petitioners, adding that the complainants had challenged the orders of the District Courts before the High Court, which were pending.

The petitioners argued that they had never exhibited the song Navarasam in Kantara as Varaha Roopam in any form. They claimed that Varaha Roopam was an independent creation and did not have any connection with Navarasam.

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