Thursday March 26, 2015

Music plagiarism row: Ranavikrama Vs. Lahari Music/T-series

Posted by Karthik


I came across this piece in today’s Bangalore Mirror (Rajkumar song is not music to family’s big release), which says that Lahari Music and T-series have sent legal notices to the producers of the Puneet Rajkumar starrer, Ranavikrama, for allegedly plagiarizing 2 songs from their repertoire.

The title song is Ranavikrama is supposedly based on a song, ‘Jagave ondy ranaranga’ from the 1988 film Ranaranga, with music by Hamsalekha.

The article also says that another song from the film’s soundtrack allegedly uses a tune from a Telugu song from the film Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu (1991).

I checked out both the songs in question, from Ranavikrama. (Listen to the songs from Ranavikrama on Saavn)

The title song of Ranavikrama does use the line, ‘Jagave ondu ranaranga’, but the tunes are pretty different.Listen to the 1988 song from Ranaranga.

Hearing that phrase as the opening of both the songs could color your perception about similarity, but the tunes are clearly different, in my view. I’d clear Harikrishna’s (Ranavikrama’s composer) name in this case, at least based on what I hear. I don’t think Lahari and T-series have a case here.

As for the 2nd allegation, I heard the soundtrack of Keeravani’s Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu. The song, ‘Kaliki Chilakala Koliki’ seems to be only song that can be used in the context of plagiarism, and connect it with ‘Airdellu Airchillu’ from Ranavikrama.

Listen to Kaliki Chilakala Koliki from Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu.

But here’s the deal – both the songs are, again, different. The Telugu song has an authentic folk/classical feel and is a trademark of Keeravani’s style of music – simple and evocative. The Kannada song, with a different tune, has a mock tone – a spoof’y tone that makes fun of things in a in-your-face obvious manner. So, the use of an old’ish, folk’ish tune and modern words thrown in. The feel is that of a folk’ish tune, but the tune isn’t the same as the Telugu song at all. The overall feel is, even perhaps the rhythm, in an obvious way, but not the tune.

I do not believe Lahari or T-series have anything material here to send legal notices to the makers of Ranavikrama.



  • Juna

    Lol i could see them getting sued for immaterial plagirisms. Your site alone has a few immaterial plagirisms or “coicidences” and given the youtube comment culture, where simply the title of a song has the same title as another has people going nuts in plagirism allegations, t-series has more than enough of a case

  • Sathyajitk

    Where do these people draw the Lines between Inspiration & Plagiarism?

    I guess today’s composers get more stick from the Public as well as from Music Labels these days. If a part of a song sounds similar, they get abuse from the Public.

    Back then Composers would get away with similar sounding songs under the pretext of them being under the Same Raga. Today’s composers get stick even for the smallest of similarities? Whats your Take on this Karthik? Were the Musicians of Yesteryear Luckier than the Current Gen?

    • milliblog

      It’s not just composers. Social media has made a whole lot of industries and professions more accountable because a lot of people can keep track and raise their voice in defiance. Politics is another example, beyond films/plagiarism.

  • Bharat KV

    ha ha… btw, “Rana Ranga” song itself sounds like a Kannada version of “Raja Rajathiraja..” from Agni Natchathram…

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