Here's everything you need to know about the controversy around Kantara's Varaha Roopam and why it's removed on OTT.
Published: 24 Nov 2022, 8:24 PM IST
After a massively successful theatrical run, Kannada film Kantara made its OTT debut on 24 November. The film released on Amazon Prime Video in Kannada, Telugu, Tamil, and Malayalam. But the popular song 'Varaha Roopam' has undergone a sea change.
Why is it in the news? The song, which was essential to enhancing Kantara's cinematic experience, was substituted with a different tune on Prime. The orchestral arrangement and vocals have been altered, but the lyrics have remained the same.
Run-up to the legal battle:
Kantara courted controversy after Kerala-based rock band Thaikkudam Bridge called the film’s song 'Varaha Roopam,' a rip-off and accused its makers of plagiarism from the band’s 2017 release 'Navarasam.'
On 30 September, Rishab Shetty’s Kantara was released in Kannada. The film was dubbed in multiple languages.
On 14 October, the Hindi version of Kantara released in theaters, and a day later, on 15 October, the Tamil version hit the screens.
On 24 October, Thaikkudam Bridge said that their track 'Navarasam,' which released in 2017, was duplicated in the song 'Varaha Roopam.' A copyright infringement suit was filed in a Kozhikode court.
What Played Out in Court:
On 28 October, Thaikkudam Bridge got an injunction from the Kozhikode Principal District Sessions Court. The order was passed based on the band's claim that the film violated their "moral rights" over the song.
A week later, Palakkad District court too passed an order restraining the makers of Kantara, from using the song 'Varaha Roopam' on streaming platforms and in movie theaters. This was based on a second suit filed by Mathrubhumi Printing and Publishing Company Ltd., the copyright holder of 'Navarasam.'
On 23 November, the Kerala High Court dismissed Hombale Films' petitions challenging the ad-interim injunction orders issued by the district courts of Kozhikkode and Palakkad prohibiting the use of the song in the film.
On 24 November, Kantara was released on Amazon Prime Video with the original song removed from the film.
The big picture: The makers of Kantara are producer Vijay Kirangaduru's Homable Production and director Rishab Shetty. Both the production house and director, who also played the lead role in the film, are popular in Kannada cinema. Ajaneesh Loknath is the music director of the film.
Thaikkudam Bridge is, meanwhile, a lesser known band which primarily uses folk tunes in their songs, which have only recently gained popularity.
A David vs Goliath battle?