SpicyIP Tidbit: Audio companies v. Film Producers

rx suriIn continuation of a recent trend of audio companies suing film producers for copying their songs in part or in full, Lahari Audio has sued K A Suresh, producer of the film RX Suri alleging that he has copied two of their songs in this film. A Bangalore City Civil Court has issued summons to the producer after there was no response to the notice issued. Lahari Audio claims that the producer had approached them about using the songs and that they were in negotiation over the price. However, they claim that before the negotiations were completed, the producer went ahead and used the songs without their permission. While the matter is still pending adjudication, Lahari Audio appears to be drawing strength from the recent trend where such suits prompted the film producers to settle. (In the Kannada industry, the Nagshekhar directed Myna paid Lahari Audios itself Rs. 5 lakh over a similar suit as settlement. Similarly, there was a private settlement between the producer Jayanna and Lahari Audio of Rs. 20 lakh for using their copyrighted songs in his movie ‘Dheera Ranavikram’. However, there was no legal action instituted in this case as parties amicably settled the matter between themselves.)

It is heartening to note that audio companies are better aware and more inclined to obtain enforcement of their intellectual property rights in recent times. However, one hopes that this does not result in spurious law suits used for harassment, under the guise of stronger enforcement of IP rights.


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