Tania Sarcar, who has previously blogged for us over here and here, has sent us this guest post on the first day hearing in the suit for copyright infringement filed by an Iranian band against the producers, music directors of Agent Vinod.
Bombay High Court denies Barobax ex-parte relief
The recent controversy in Bollywood over alleged copyright infringement by Bollywood came to light when Barobax Corp, an Iranian music company served a legal notice seeking an injunction against Eros International Media, Illumanati Films Private Limited, music director Pritam Chakroborty and Super Cassettes Industries Limited.
Barobax Corp alleged that the initial portion of ‘Pyaar Ki Pungi’ from the movie Agent Vinod has been copied from their composition ‘Soosan Khanoom’ which was released in January 2010. The case was heard on 22nd March 2012 before Justice S.J. Vazifdar.
Barobax Corp is a music company founded by three musicians Khashayar Moradi Haghgoo, Keivan Moradi Haghgoo and Hamid Forouzmand in Canada. It is noteworthy that these three musicians- Moradi, Keivan and Hamidare are also the original owners of copyright as per the copyright registration certificate. They had composed "Soosan Khanoom" as one of the songs of their band also known as Barobax.
After hearing the arguments and examining the copyright certificate of “Soosan Khanoom" which has been registered in Canada, the court found that the original copyright is in the name of these three Iranian musicians Moradi, Keivan and Hamid and not Barobax Corp. Furthermore, the Court held that there was nothing on record to establish the fact that these musicians had assigned their copyright to the company. Therefore, the court held that Barobax Corp did not have the locus standi required to file a suit for copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, 1957.
The Court did not find it necessary to examine both “Soosan Khanoom" and “Pyar ki Pungi” to judge whether there has been an infringement or not. There would have been investigation had the suit been filed in the names of the three musicians. The order of the court can be accessed online and is available here.
In the earlier post which reported this controversy, it was mentioned that it is not certain whether Iranian nationals have the right to sue in India as Iran is not a member of WTO and hence not recognized by India under the International Copyright Order. This order recognizes the foreign countries which have granted Indian citizens reciprocal rights therefore allowing the citizens of those countries to assert similar rights in India. Iran does not feature under any of the schedules in the International Copyright Order.
Barobax’s website can be accessed at http://barobax.com/