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HC to decide if copyright can be claimed on traditional songs

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The Thursday said it will soon consider if the reproduction of old traditional songs amounts to violation and is liable for criminal action.

A division bench of Justices B P Dharmadhikari and Revati Mohite-Dere admitted a petition filed by and song writer and two publishers Pukhraj Surya and Hiten Patel, seeking to quash an FIR lodged against them for violation.

According to the petition, had made a compilation of old Marwari and Gujarati traditional songs, sung during marriage and other ceremonies, and published them in two books.

In December 2014, one Ashadevi Sonigada had filed a complaint at the station here alleging that and the two publishers had copied a song that she had already published in one of her books.

The high court, after hearing brief arguments, sought to know as to how can be claimed on such songs.

"These are old traditional songs that have been played and sung at weddings and other ceremonies since generations. How can one claim copyright on it? This is like saying our national anthem and 'Vande Mataram' cannot be reproduced by anyone anywhere," Justice Dharmadhikari said.

While admitting the petition, the bench directed the police not to file its charge sheet in the case against the and the publishers.

"We will consider the issue whether reproduction of old traditional songs and compilation of such songs amounts to copyright violations and criminal action," the court said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, January 03 2019. 15:25 IST