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Mind over music

Day Two brought in sizeable crowd, especially during Swarathama’s performance and the Spin-n-Scratch concert organised by DJ Gaurav Issar. Nikhil Taneja reports from Pune...

music Updated: Feb 09, 2009 18:52 IST

Baajaa Gaajaa raises some important issues on Day Two...Nikhil Taneja reports from Pune...

The eclectic events of Day Two in India’s first-ever music expo could be summed up through a fascinating seminar on Intellectual Property Rights.

Titled Whose music is it anyway?, and hosted by noted advocates TN Daruwala and Chander Lall, and Honourable Justice SJ Vazifdar, the seminar focused on the “change in mindset” which needs to be brought about amongst the youth.

That’s the message
The message was in sync with the objective of the three-day expo — to stimulate a positive change in the country about the importance of Indian music and culture. The three renowned speakers explained copyright laws in great detail and in a relatable manner.

Issues of performance, moral and paternal rights over one’s creation were discussed, as the speakers stressed on the fact that everything written in a tangible form, is copyrighted in itself.

Lall drew a parallel between copyright laws and common sense and even explained how everything published on the internet is automatically the subject of copyright.

Having worked with show town bigwigs like Shah Rukh Khan and Yash Chopra over the last 15 years, he gave an insight on how artistes aren’t even aware of the legal rights they have over anything they have
created.

Advocate TN Daruwala spiced up the proceedings further by playing sound clips of plagiarised Hindi songs and their original versions. He recounted what he termed as the biggest David versus Goliath case of his career, where he represented Ram Sampat, who had accused Rajesh and Rakesh Roshan of plagiarising his tune in Krazzzy 4. The audience was captivated by his anecdotes on the topic and dramatic representations of examples.

Paradigm shift
Lall also caused a stir amongst the few independent rock artistes present at the seminar when he said, without mincing any words, that bands performing ‘cover versions’ of established artistes is also an illegal act. The issue of piracy was also brought up as the speakers explained that the most elementary act on our behalf, such as making copies of an audio CD, is illegal.

The discussion proved how a new outlook is required to overcome the issue of MP3 downloads, and how we don’t even realise when we unassumingly become consumers of piracy. In the very same way, a major paradigm shift is required for the country to wake up to the musical diversity of 21st century India, a cause that Baajaa Gaajaa is working towards. Surprisingly, this event about the music industry wasn’t attended by distinguished musicians who make their presence felt in Page 3 parties regularly.

Turning point
Even so, Baajaa Gaajaa remains one of the most momentous musical turning points for the industry. The detailing, the finely executed events and the evident pain that went into bringing together the confluence of music from across the country are commendable. Day Two brought in sizeable crowd, especially during Swarathama’s performance and the Spin-n-Scratch concert by DJ Gaurav Issar.

Thanks to the efforts put in by organisers Aneesh Pradhan and Shubha Mudgal, the future of the music expo and of the industry, looks promising.