Reality bites: Zee in soup over 'Sa Re Ga Ma Challenge'

By , agencyfaqs!, New Delhi | In Media Publishing | July 18, 2007
In a setback for Zee Networks, IPRS and PPL have secured an injunction from the Delhi High Court prohibiting Zee TV from broadcasting programmes and shows that feature published songs and musical compositions, without obtaining a prior licence

Zee's popular & #BANNER1 & # reality singing competition, 'Sa Re Ga Ma Challenge 2007', could possibly go off air as Indian Performing Rights Society Ltd (IPRS) and Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), in a joint action, have secured an interim injunction against Zee TV from the Delhi High Court on July 10, 2007. The order restrains Zee TV from featuring published music (musical compositions, lyrics and songs) in its programmes, shows and serials without obtaining a prior licence from IPRS and PPL, to the extent of the music owned by the members of IPRS and PPL.

"Zee Networks had paid the licence fee for the year 2005-06, but didn't pay it for the subsequent year despite repeated reminders, hence this fall-out," says Savio D'Souza, secretary general, The Indian Music Industry (IMI).

Technically, the order will mean that Zee TV would either have to stop broadcast, obtain a licence, or both.

"I have heard the learned counsel for the plaintiffs, perused the plaint application and documents and am satisfied that this is a fit case for grant of ex parte and interim injunction and in case the injunction is not granted, at this stage, the plaintiffs will suffer irreparable loss," says Justice Sistani of the Delhi High Court in his order dated July 10, 2007.

The order highlights yet another instance of the court upholding the Copyright Act of 1957 and sends out a strong warning to violators of the law.

"Till the next date of hearing, the defendants, their servants, agents, employees are hereby restrained from causing the reproduction, broadcast or broadcasting/performing or communication to the public literary and/or musical works and/sound recordings of the plaintiffs societies or those of the foreign societies of the plaintiff No.1, without obtaining the licences from the plaintiffs," adds the order.

Quizzed about the court's order, Ashish Kaul, V-P, communication, Essel Group, says, "We haven't yet received a copy of the order. Whatever the court has said, we will abide by that. The decision to appeal against the order will be taken once we study the order in detail."

It is well known that music talent shows such as 'Sa Re Ga Ma Challenge' make extensive use of compositions, lyrics and songs belonging to IPRS and PPL.

All users of music, including radio stations and television stations, need to obtain a licence for public performance whenever they broadcast or perform/play literary and musical works and sound recordings, and the licence must be obtained prior to the event/broadcast, else it violates the Copyright Act, 1957.