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    Mar 2008

    Arrow Alisha warns: F?k you pay me

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    Alisha warns: F?k you pay me
    By Subhash K Jha

    Ram Sampat's 2-Crore Rupee victory over plagiarism. The entertainment industry reacts...

    Alisha Chinai: "I absolutely agree with Ram Sampat's action. Plagiarism is a way of life in Bollywood. They don't play by rules.

    They're unethical and they rip off songs, copyrights and royalties of musicians and singers shamelessly If this continues the music industry will crash. My warning to Bollywood : f?k you, pay me!

    A R Rahman: "No comments. But it's high time everyone cleans up their act and people start getting fair to creative people."

    Mahesh Bhatt: "There's always someone somewhere who's smarter than you. This case is a wakeup call for Bollywood. The world has changed. We need to mend our ways. It will now be tougher for us to 'steal' and not get caught.

    Manish Acharya: "When I made Loins Of Punjab Presents?.I got the copyrights for every single evergreen song that I used as part of the music contest.

    Even the music companies were surprised when I sought permission even to use a 8-second clip. I don't watch tv so I don't know the merits of Ram's case. Nor have I heard the Krazzy 4 songs.

    But valuing the IPR is inevitable given the film industry's growth strategy and influx of corporate money into Bollywood.

    Subhash Ghai: "Though I've no right to comment on this case without knowing the inside story I must say, sometimes we mistake an inspired re-worked version of a song or film as our own original work of art without realizing the complications of copyright laws.

    It's no secret that we in this country have been adapting and re-working on music and movies completely ignorant of the laws. This case has warned us about the future.

    However I'm sure Rajesh Roshan is talented enough not to pick on anyone's work.

    Kunal Ganjawala: "Some of us singers have been fighting an ongoing battle against discrimination in the film industry. Do you know we singers in the film industry are still legally known as 'instruments'? Can you imagine Lataji and Ashaji are INSTRUMENTS?

    We of the playback kingdom have been fighting such discrimination for as along as we can. Seen in that light Ram Sampat's court victory is a big step ahead. I've known Ram for years, have worked with him.

    He's hugely talented and he doesn't really care about doing music in films. He's happy with his jingles and his ventures abroad including one with the European band INXS which he has just completed. Ram has opened up the discussion about the importance of musicians in Bollywood.

    However the Roshans whom I've worked with in Krissh, are honourable people. I can bet my last song they'd never-ever do anything underhand. Apparently the cellphone company Sony-Ericsson has goofed up.

    They sent the Roshans a clearance letter to use Ram Sampat's tune and didn't inform Ram. This isn't done! How could a multi-national company be so irresponsible? I don't understand this.

    I must tell you, this isn't the first time that a talented musician has been shortchanged by a cellphone company. Five years ago a composer named Rupert Fernandes was paid a pittance for a signature tune for Hutch which became their product's international theme.

    If musicians today are thinking and getting big money, I'd say about-time. But I still insist the Roshans aren't capable of cheating anyone.

    Pritam Chakbraborty: "I've often been accused of plagiarism, so I'm in a peculiar position as both a musician and an apparent offender. Both Ram Sampat and Rajesh Roshan are wonderful creative people. Ram is a great musician.

    At the same time I've grown up listening to Rajesh Roshan's tunes. In a way this judgement in Ram's favour is a huge leap for the music industry. It strengthens the entertainment industry's belief in the judiciary.

    On the other hand, the timing of the accusation when the producer Rakesh Roshan's film was on the verge of release and he had no option but to pay up, is unfortunate.

    I'm sure nothing mattered more than the film's release for the Roshans. However I'm happy as a musician because we aren't paid proper royalty in this country. In the West musicians are treated decently.

    Ours is a very disorganized entertainment industry and Ram Sampat has set a definite precedent. And my respect for the judiciary has gone up manifold. An underdog winning a case so speedily?.wow!

    However this precedent can be misused. Any composer can arm-twist a filmmaker at the last minute to pay up.To corner a filmmaker at the eleventh hour is unethical. It will encourage a lot of people to extract last-minute compensations from frantic producers. It isn't easy to prove copyright infringement.

    Even a fiercely original film like Chak De India was accused of plagiarism. I'm afraid I've a reputation for plagiarism and anyone can point a finger at me. Someone just the other day said my Race song is derived from U2. Not true!

    Every song based on the same raga would sound similar. People say my Yeh ishq haye from Jab We Met is plagiarized. Not one note of it is pinched.

    Scarily enough the Roshans tried to take proper permission from Sony-Ericsson. There was a mess-up. So their intentions were not wrong.



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