Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Jul 5:
The remixed version of Odisha’s all-time hit Sambalpuri folk song, which has gone viral on the internet, has run into a legal tangle after the lyricist and composer of the cult song filed a defamation suit for Rs 1 crore against those involved in the reproduction of the song without permission and in violation of copyright.
The lyricist Mitrabhanu Gauntia and music director Prabhudatta Pradhan of the original version of the ‘Rangabati’ have served legal notices on Hindustan Coca Cola Beverages Pvt Ltd, Hindustan Coca Cola Holdings Pvt Ltd, Viacom 18 Media Pvt Ltd, singer Sona Mohapatra, musician Ram Sampath and co-singer Rituraj Mohanty.
In his legal notice, Supreme Court lawyer Sagar Kumar Pradhan, representing legal firm P Sagar and Co, has said that the copyright of the song lies with Prabhudatta Pradhan and Mitrabhanu Gauntia and no permission had been sought from them for reproduction of the song.
The remake of the song is in violation of the Copyright Act. In view of this, the telecast of the song should be stopped immediately and the defendants must settle the defamation suit amounting to Rs 1 crore within 15 days, the notice said.
If they fail to comply with the notice, the complainants will take legal recourse against those made party to the case, the petitioner added in the notice.
“Not only have they not taken permission from us; they have made mincemeat of the original song,” said Mitrabhanu Gauntia, the lyricist of the original song.
“It has hurt the feelings of not just me and others involved with the song, but the people of the entire area. No one has the right to fiddle with folk traditions and culture,” said Jitendra Haripal, who shot into national and even international fame for his rendition of the song.
Notably, the song lasting for 6:58 min has already got over 4 lakh views (at the time of filing this report) on YouTube since its release on July 3, 2015. Besides, leading music channel MTV has announced it would telecast the programme in its fourth season of Coke [email protected] tonight at 8:00 pm where the singers Sona Mohapatra and Rituraj Mohanty would sing the remixed version of ‘Rangabati’.
The composer Ram Sampath has made the song bilingual with Sambalpuri and Tamil. ‘Rangabati’ is mixed with ‘Bande Utkal Janani’, an Odia patriotic song, sung by India’s Raw Star fame Rituraj Mohanty. While Sona and chorus take care of the Sambalpuri part of the song, the duo Tony Sebastian and Rajesh Radhakrishnan sing the Tamil rap.
It may be mentioned that ‘Rangabati’ recorded in the mid 70’s by the singers –Jitendra Haripal and Krishna Patel– continues to be a rage even now. No marriage procession in Odisha is complete without the rendition of this song tailor-made for frenzied dancing.
On the strength of its foot-tapping music, ‘Rangabati’ transcended the geographical boundaries of Odisha and spread out across the country.