A PTI report in DNA has reported that an Iranian band, by the name ‘Barobax Corp’, an underground Iranian Pop band, has served a legal notice on music director Pritam Chakraborthy who has composed the ‘Pyaar Ki Pungi’ song for Saif Ali Khan’s home production – ‘Agent Vinod’, which is due for a world wide release this Friday. The notice has also allegedly been served on the producers, director and Super Cassettes which owns the music rights. Reportedly, the legal notice alleges that the initial portion of the ‘Pyaar Ki Pungi’ copy has been directly copied from their composition ‘Soosan Khanoom’ which the band had produced and released on January 16th, 2010.
The DNA Report extracts the following portion from the legal notice served on the band:
"On March 12 this year, the band came across the promotions of the movie 'Agent Vinod' on satellite television in Iran. The song 'Pungi Baja De..' was being aired. On listening to the song, the band realised that the initial portion of the song is lifted without any change from the title song of their album,"
“We demand the music director, producers and directors to refrain from releasing the song in the movie or use it to promote the movie. Failing to do so, the band shall be compelled to initiate proceedings to seek a restraining order and necessary compensation."
Both ‘Pyaar Ki Pungi’ and ‘Soosan Khanoom’ can be accessed on Youtube over here and here.
This is not the first time that a foreign music band has alleged copyright infringement by a Bollywood music director. Shamnad had carried this excellent post some time ago on the history of copyright infringement by Indian music directors. The moot point in this case however is a mundane technicality of the law and that is whether these Iranian nationals have any standing to sue in India since their country of origin – Iran – is not yet a member of the WTO because of which it is not recognized by the Indian Government under the International Copyright Order, 1999 that is published under Section 40 of the Copyright Act, 1957. 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. Since Iran is not mentioned in the International Copyright Order, 1999 it is unlikely that this Iranian band will have the right to sue in India.