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I have to fight for my rights: Ram Sampath

Music composer Ram Sampath rips through statements made by Rakesh Roshan. Hiren Kotwani chats with him.
Hindustan Times | By Hiren Kotwani, Mumbai
UPDATED ON APR 12, 2008 01:41 PM IST

Rakesh Roshan isn't happy with the court's verdict on Thursday that went against him in the copyright infringement case initiated by Ram Sampath.

Music composer Sampath had filed a complaint against Rakesh Roshan and his brother, music director Rajesh Roshan, alleging that they had lifted The Thump tune which he had created for a Sony Ericsson jingle in 2007, for the two ‘Break free' item songs and also the background score of Krazzy 4.

Roshan expressed shock that instead of approaching him first, Sampath "directly went to court." He has alleged that the composer had been planning the suit for weeks but filed only days before the film's release, putting him in a tight spot.

He has stated that to keep his commitment to his distributors and respect the feelings of the audience, he had "no way out but to succumb to the pressure and to compromise on the matter, thereby seeing that the film is released on the announced date."

Sampath, however, denies this, stating that as soon as he heard the songs, he had sent a notice to the Roshans. This was on March 24.

Timely notice
"The judge dismissed their allegation, that I waited till the last moment to sue them. When you send a legal notice to someone, it means you have a problem with that person and are informing him via the legal route," the triumphant composer argues.

Brushing off the producer's claims of harassment, Sampath says the Roshans chose to ignore the notice and his phone calls "after which I filed the suit on April 1, and even then gave them six days to respond."

Pressure tactics
Sampath remarks that he has been under tremendous pressure since he sued the Roshans.

"I had calls from people in the industry to change my stance. It was pointed out to me that I didn't know whom I was up against, and such a move would ruin my career. But I believed in the constitution that gives you the right to the freedom of expression and protects your creativity," he asserts.

"If someone steals what is rightfully mine, I can't be a mere spectator. I have to fight for my rights."

Sampath is also upset with Hrithik Roshan for claiming to have got a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Sony Ericsson as its brand ambassador.

"That's a lie because I own the rights to the composition," he snaps.

Setting a precedent
After getting a judgment in his favour, Sampath has got a compensation of Rs 2 crore.

"After the court granted a stay and an injunction in my favour, some people wanted me to up the compensation amount. But I chose to stick to the amount I had put down when I had filed the consent terms," he points out.

"You can check the legal documents and confirm that I have not changed my stance from the time I sent the legal notice till the order of the judgment was delivered."

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