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The Delhi High Court has directed the producers of web-series Mirzapur not to use the song “Ye Mera Dil Yaar Ka Deewana” as part of its sixth episode without obtaining a license from Saregama India Ltd.
The order was passed by a Single Judge Bench of Justice Prathiba M Singh in a suit preferred by music label, Saregama (plaintiff) for infringement of copyright in sound recording by Excel Media and Entertainment group.
The Plaintiff Company owns the intellectual property rights in the sound recording and literary works in the songs of the cinematograph film ‘Don’. The rights were assigned to the Plaintiff in perpetuity by an assignment agreement between Gramophone Company of India, the predecessor in the interest of the Plaintiff and M/S Nariman Films, the original producer of the film. The Assignment Agreement was renewed in 1977.
The Plaintiff moved the High Court in light of the Excel Media and Entertainment LLP, the producer of Mirzapur, using one of the songs in the film, “Ye Mera Dil Yaar Ka Deewana” in episode 6 titled “Barfi”.
It is the Plaintiff’s case that the said usage is without any license.
The Court was informed that the second Defendant, Excel Entertainment Pvt. Ltd had an Agreement with the Plaintiff in 2006 by which a license was granted to it for using two works including the said song in the remake of ‘Don’, known as ‘Don- The Chase Begins Again’.
The Plaintiff argued that as per the clauses in the 2006 Agreement, the song could have been used only for the second film, and any other use of the song would require a separate agreement. The contention was accepted by the Court after perusing the Agreement.
The Plaintiff issued notice in November 2018 to the Defendant to cease and desist from using the said sound recording in the web-series. The Defendant, however, replied that it has a gratuitous license from the Defendant No. 2 for using the said song.
After hearing the audio recording of the song used in the web series, the Court remarked that “there is no doubt that this is an identical work, copyright of which, prima facie, is claimed to be owned by the Plaintiff”.
Observing that balance of convenience rests in favour of the Plaintiff, the Court stated,
“Plaintiff has made out a prima facie case in its favour.. irreparable harm would be caused to the Plaintiff if the Defendants are not injuncted.”
It accordingly ordered that till the next date, the Defendants shall not use the song “Ye Mera Dil Yaar Ka Deewana” as a party of ‘Mirzapur’ episode 6 without obtaining a license from Plaintiff.
“Mirzapur episode no. 6, Barfi, may, however, be broadcasted without the said song. Compliance of Order XXXIX Rule 3 CPC be made within one week.”, it further said.
The Plaintiff was represented by Senior Advocate Rajiv Nayar with Khaitan & Co lawyers Ajay Bhargava, Ankur Sangal, Sucheta Roy and Richa Bhargava.
The matter would be next heard on March 12.
Image Courtesy: Amazon
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