'Dream Girl' movie violates copyright laws: Delhi High Court restrains usage of song

Delhi High Court in its recent judgement has restrained the use of ‘Dhagala Lagli’ song by Balaji Telefilms in their recent release ‘Dream Girl’, due to copyright violation as they have neither given the license fee nor the required credits to the plaintiff, who owned to copyright in the sound recording. 

The suit was instituted against three defendants namely, (i) Balaji Motion Pictures Limited, (ii) ALT Digital Media Entertainment Limited and (iii) Zee Entertainment enterprise Limited from using the copyrighted song titled ‘Dhagala Lagli’ in the movie ‘Dream Girl’. An interim relief application was filed along-side the suit. 

The Plaintiff had argued that by the virtue of an agreement signed in 1978, he is rightful owner of the copyright and had also cited Ram Sampath Vs. Rajesh Roshan, which held copying a part of the song in which someone else has a copyright, amounts to infringement. 

The Defendants countered these arguments by stating that the agreement is merely a grant of license and Plaintiff is not the rightful copyright owner. They also argued that since the registered offices of all the defendants are in Mumbai, this court has no jurisdiction in the matter. 

The court held that the impugned song in the forthcoming film of the defendants has the same catch line and words as the original song of the Plaintiff. The court also observed that the public indentifies the impugned song in the recently released movie as the original song created by the Plaintiff and highlighted the importance of public element in identifying a copyright theft.

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