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Review: Genda Phool Case Controversy

-Yuga Shree,

Intern, Legal Angles Patna

The song had been the third fastest Indian music video on YouTube that collected 100 million viewpoints. The song Genda Phool is actually from the 1970's album "Borloker Bitilo" was by a folk singer Ratan Kahar Emon mathay bnedhe debo lal genda phool.

Argya Bose from France wrote to CM of the state that “In the capacity of a common but responsible citizen of your state, Madam Chief Minister, I feel obliged and responsible to bring to your notice exploitation of the poor artists of the state of West Bengal at this level by apparently world-renowned artists. It is, indeed, the moral responsibility of the entire population of the state, and more so, the government of the state to protect the interests of the artistic communities of our country”.

In Genda Phool there are many reasons regarding copyright infringements. Folk music is believed to be there for centuries, to always be jointly operated by one or more individuals or families, and to be unknown in nature. In these cases, no person or group of individuals is monopolized by the new copyright regime. The music could be used reconstructed absolutely free.

With regard to Indian Copyright act focuses mainly on the original work of the author and in the case if the author is not found in such cases the idea can be utilised as a general work if it is proved that a person to be original author of the work then copyright exists with them.

Even though the work of Ratan Kahar is available to access by anybody as a traditional folklore copyright subsist with him and it is known to people that he is the single author of the work.

Kahar who doesn’t even know about these issues came to know about these only after people contacted him listen to that song. Even after confirming that it is his work he doesn’t had money or legal knowledge and awareness as well as strength to fight against this issue as he is 85 years old. He also said that if anyone helps him in this regard he would be thankful as he doesn’t have power to face and money to file a suit. After all this issue when there is huge number of questions, comments, posts and other stuffs trending in the social media against him Badshah posted in his social media Reacting to the controversy, Badshah recently shared his statement on social media. “We had however, done our due diligence before releasing the song, and nowhere on any copyright societies or on any of the previous reprises/versions of the song was Mr. Ratan Kahar credited as lyricist…,” After receiving so much information from the Bengali community, I have been constantly trying my best to reach out to him and connect with him and be able to do justice to the situation to all my might…” In this regard the Badshah who plagiarised the work of Ratan said that to help out Boro Loker Biti Lo original creator Ratan Kahar on “humanitarian grounds”, has done his bit and deposited Rs 5 lakh to the veteran folk artist’s bank account after talking to him through video call his team collected the bank account details of Ratan Kahar.

At this stage of this issue after getting the amount deposited by Badshah he thanked him and asked him to visit him at his village.

A song which actually hit a huge million views on YouTube with the work of Ratan is eligible to claimed as his work however due to his poverty, illiteracy on Intellectual property rights the rapper is trying to practice undue influence by giving a bit amount that not even equal to 1% of what he earned from that song is completely unacceptable and an injustice to the creator.

The respective court in this issue has to take up this SUO MOTO and should decide upon it if not the legal aid committee in that regard has to help him file a petition before the respective court and prove that there is copyright violation.

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