Kantara row: Varaha Roopam deleted from YouTube following Kerala court order

The song from ‘Kantara’ courted controversy after Kerala-based band Thaikkudam Bridge pressed charges against the film’s makers on charges of plagiarism.
Screengrab from Varaha Roopam song, Kantara
Screengrab from Varaha Roopam song, Kantara
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The makers of the hit Kannada movie Kantara have deleted the song ‘Varaha Roopam’ from YouTube. The song from the Rishab Shetty starrer courted controversy after Kerala-based band Thaikkudam Bridge pressed charges against the film’s makers, claiming that ‘Varaha Roopam’ is allegedly plagiarised from the band’s Intellectual Property (IP) ‘Navarasam’.

The song was taken down from YouTube after the Kozhikode district and sessions court had passed an injunction last month against the producer, director and music composer of the film, as well as several music platforms — including Amazon, YouTube, Spotify, Wynk Music, Jio Saavn and others — from playing the song ‘Varaha Roopam’ without the permission of Thaikkudam Bridge. The injunction suit was filed on the band’s behalf by music attorney Satish Murthi, a Supreme Court advocate, Thaikkudam Bridge had said.

Following the injunction, another court, on November 2, had directed the makers of the song to stop its streaming. The injunction passed by the Palakkad District Court was based on a lawsuit filed by Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Company Ltd, which holds the copyright over the Thaikkudam Bridge’s Navarasam song.

On October 24, Thaikkudam Bridge alleged that there are unavoidable similarities between ‘Navarasam’ and ‘Varaha Roopam’. Thaikkudam’s ‘Navarasam’, a classical rock number released in 2015, was a tribute to Kerala’s popular art form Kathakali, and about the commercialisation of this art form. On the other hand, ‘Varaha Roopam’ in Kantara features the beliefs and worship of Bhoota Aradhane in Dakshina Kannada.

“From our standpoint the line between ‘Inspired’ and ‘Plagiarized’ is distinct and indisputable and therefore we will be seeking legal action against the creative team responsible for this. There has been no acknowledgement of our rights over the content and the song is propagated as an Original piece of work by the movie's creative team,” Thaikkudam Bridge had said.

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