A Kerala court has issued an interim injunction prohibiting the use of a controversial song from Kannada action thriller Kantara in theatres as well as OTT and digital streaming platforms, citing prima facie violation of the Copyright Act.
First Additional District Court Judge K E Salih directed that “due credit” be given to the music band Thaikkudam Bridge and Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Company Ltd, which hold the copyright of the Navarasam track that was adapted for the song Varaha Roopam in the 2022 movie Kantara.
The move for legal action was initiated last year, shortly after the release of Kantara on September 30.
The court pointed out that the music director of the track had himself admitted to taking “inspiration” from Thaikkudam Bridge’s Navarasam (2015), popular for its fusion of rock music with Indian classical while maintaining an individualistic style, tempo, and melody.
The court passed the interim order on Thursday while deciding on the allegations of plagiarism against Varaha Roopam. The plaint claimed that Varaha Roopam had infringed copyright laws by copying tracks from Navarasam.
Last week, the Kozhikode Chief Judicial Magistrate, after perusing the case diary, had directed the police to seize documents relating to the plagiarised song — under Section 64 of the Copyright Act 1957 (copyright infringement).
Chief Judicial Magistrate S Sooraj on April 5 also instructed the investigating officer to seize the digital audio workstation and all plates used for the purpose of making the infringing copies of the work and to collect evidence to determine whether the music director had violated copyright rules.
This order was issued after Mathrubhumi filed a complaint alleging that the investigation was not progressing in the right direction.
The Kozhikode court further instructed the investigating officer to provide the court with a progress report on the case by May 4.
This year, on February 8, the Kerala High Court stated that Varaha Roopam in Kantara was a plagiarised version of Navarasam.
The 2013-founded band Thaikkudam Bridge is based out of Kochi, while Mathrubhumi, which is headquartered in Kozhikode, celebrated its centenary recently.