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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019

Is Pritam Chakraborthy a copy cat?

As Pritam gets into a plagiarism row yet again, Malvika Nanda looks at who is to blame.

india Updated: Aug 11, 2008 19:42 IST
Malvika Nanda
Malvika Nanda
Hindustan Times

With Bollywood music reaching out globally, our ‘inspiration’ driven composers are in for a tough time. Music director Pritam is dealing with yet another plagiarism charge for his track

Zara Zara



. as a Taiwanese composer, Wang Lee-Home, has sued Tips films for whom Pritam composed the music.

It’s not the first time for the composer, as.his tracks from

Dhoom II



also got into trouble. Right to copy? In an earlier interview with

HT City

, Pritam had said, “I’m blamed for plagiarism but only my producers know that even if I’m working on a cover version, I always insist on permission or copyright.

Given the entertainment laws, permission doesn’t come easy, but I still try my best.” When contacted, Tips MD Kumar Taurani said, “I don’t exactly know what the problem is, I’ll look into it on Monday.” The fact that composers are arm-twisted into copying songs to ensure hits is well known.

For this reason, Pritam has received some sympathy from the fraternity. Composer Vishal Dadlani (of Vishal-Shekhar duo), told

HT City

from Houston, US. “Pritam is a nice guy, I don't know how he gets involved with all this. Maybe because he is sweet, producers bully him into this. I don’t see why we should copy, we are good anyway. For me it’s immoral to copy.”

Under pressure

Composer Adesh Srivastav says, “Pritam is a talented musician and doesn’t need to copy, but I know the pressures. These days everyone from heroes to producers give CDs with tracks that they want. But, he should put his foot down like we do.”

The lyricist of the song, Sameer, however, comes down heavily on Pritam. “It’s about time Pritam changed his ways, this is not the first time that he’s done this. It’s tough to steal in today’s world and why should anyone do so? It’s not about being sued for money but the reputation that is lost.”

Director Mahesh Bhatt says, "I know that producers find comfort in the fact that copying from a hit track will ensure a hit film and also their peace of mind. Earlier for two reasons people could steal and get away, one because there wasn’t so much of awareness and two, Bollywood didn’t mean too much money. Now when Bollywood is increasingly becoming bigger than before, everyone wants a slice of the pie. But don’t think that this means plagiarism will stop. It won’t. It’ll just become more crafty and conceited,” he says.