“People should be informed and aware about how bad it is to copy someone else’s original creation, one should follow rules and take permission”- Kailash Kher

Kailash Kher is an Indian pop-rock and Bollywood playback singer with a music style influenced by Indian folk music and Sufi music. Kailash Kher is not only one of the most loved Indian artists internationally, but also among the most respected for his modest and inspiring lifestyle.

Kailash Kher has accused the makers of the song Nath Yogi  for making  the theme song of Gorakhpur Mahotsav,  lifting the tune and copying the music from his 2017 song, Adi Yogi. The cultural extravaganza which was to be held in Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath’s hometown Gorakhpur from January 11 to 13. According to Kher, makers of the song, did not seek ‘permission’ from him and hence, have violated the copyright infringement act. According to Kher In India, intellectual property rights are taken very casually. In the West, violation of copyright law is a serious offence. When such a thing happens, you feel cheated. The reason why no one is scared of copying someone else’s creation is that they think they can easily get away with it. It is also lack of awareness and education about copyright laws that there are so many people violating them.

According to sec 14 of the copyright Act, it means the exclusive right to do or authorize the doing any literary, dramatic or musical work or any substantial part thereof. Copyright includes literary, dramatic and artistic works; anonymous and pseudonymous; posthumous, photography, cinematography films, sound recording, government works, works of PSUs and work of international organisations.

Section 11 of the Act provides for the establishment of the Copyright Board and empowers the Central Government to constitute the same consisting of a Chairman and two other members. The main functions of the Copyright Board are as under:

  1. Settlement of disputes as to whether copies of any literary, dramatic or artistic work or records are issued to the public in sufficient numbers.
  2. Settlement of disputes as to whether the term of copyright for any work is shorter in any other country than that provided for that work under the Act.
  3. Settlement of disputes with respect to assignment of copyright as dealt with in Section 19A.
  4. Granting of compulsory licences in respect of Indian works withheld from public.
  5. Granting of compulsory licence to publish unpublished Indian works.
  6. Granting of compulsory licence to produce and publish translation of literary and dramatic works.
  7. Granting of compulsory licence to reproduce and publish literary, scientific or artistic works for certain purposes.
  8. Determination of royalties payable to the owner of copyright.
  9. Determination of objection lodged by any person as to the fees charged by Performing Rights Societies.
  10. Rectification of Register on the application of the Registrar of Copyright or of any person aggrieved.

The Copyright Board has no powers to limit the user of copyright to any particular territorial area.

Any person who infringes or abates the infringement of the copyright in a work or any other right conferred under the Act (except for resale of share rights in original copies), liable to imprisonment for a minimum period of 6 months which may extend to 3 years and with minimum fine of INR 50000 which may extend up to INR 200000. However, the court has been empowered to impose a sentence less than 6 months or a fine less than INR 50000.

Though the producer of the Gorakhpur Mahotsav song claimed, he had never heard kher song earlier. The song may sound similar as both the song is based on a same raag. And the word “adi-yogi” is often used to describe Lord Shiva. V.Bawra (lyricist) added “The two songs are different in terms of their context, tunes and place. While his [Kher’s] song is on Lord Shiva, my song is dedicated to Guru Gorakhnath. Nath Yogi, the theme song for the Gorakhpur Mahotsav which opened here today, is based on a Bhojpuri folk ditty that he had heard a beggar woman sing more than 30 years ago.”

Following this  V.Bawre said that he will go to the court to sue kailash kher for a case of defamation against false allegation.


Reference books:

  1. https://www.amazon.in/Copyright-Act-1957-Taxmann/dp/9386394022/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520681239&sr=8-2&keywords=copyright
  2. https://www.amazon.in/Law-Relating-Intellectual-Property-Rights/dp/8180389898/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1520681362&sr=8-3&keywords=intellectual+property+right
  3. https://www.amazon.in/Music-Law-Digital-Age-Essentials/dp/0876391730/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520681267&sr=8-2&keywords=copyright+of+music
  4. https://www.amazon.in/COPYRIGHT-COPYLEFT-LIBRARIES-DR-RAJENDRAN/dp/B0743FM8SJ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1520681239&sr=8-3&keywords=copyright
  5. https://www.amazon.in/Copyright-Law-Sashi-Nath-Mandal/dp/818484266X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520681284&sr=8-1&keywords=copyright++case+laws
  6. https://www.amazon.in/Copyright-Law-R-K-Bansal-Varma/dp/8184842678/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1520681284&sr=8-4&keywords=copyright++case+laws
  7. https://www.amazon.in/Intellectual-Property-Rights-Infringement-Remedies-Padmanabhan/dp/8180387933/ref=sr_1_15?ie=UTF8&qid=1520681362&sr=8-15&keywords=intellectual+property+right
  8. Image Source: https://www.videoblocks.com/video/copyright-animated-word-cloud-text-design-animation-sgxdbwryxizkloj03