The Delhi High Court granted an ex-parte ad-interim injunction in favor of Saga Music (‘Saga’) against Karma Entertainment Private Limited (‘Karma’) for copyright infringement in respect of Sound Recordings/Songs titled “Black Suit” and “Suit Lahore Da” assigned to Saga by Karma vide two separates but nearly identical Content Assignment Agreements.
Saga is a premier indie music label which caters to a massive audience of regional music lovers especially the Punjabi music diaspora which has a huge following in India as well as globally. Apart from showcasing and distributing Punjabi music and films, Saga is also into acquisition of copyright in sound recordings/songs by copyright assignment agreements and enjoys the following rights , as owner of the copyright : a. The exclusive right to license a part or all of the copyright in the Sound Recordings or Underlying Works over any mode or medium; b. The exclusive right to monetize or seek royalties in respect of exploitation of the Sound Recordings or Underlying Works; c. The exclusive right to sue for infringement of any of these rights.
Established in the year 2016, Karma, is an artist management and Entertainment Company. Karma represents few of the biggest names in the mainstream Punjabi music industry and has a combined fan base in millions of followers and viewers.
In June 2019, Karma had approached Saga, representing to be the sole and exclusive copyright holder and owner of all proprietary interest in Music Tracks/Songs/Sound Recordings titled "Black Suit" and "Suit Lahore Da". Based on the credentials and representations made by Karma, Saga and Karma had entered into two separate, but nearly identical Content Assignment Agreements, both dated August 9, 2019. Saga submitted that it had already paid Rs. 10, 97,600/- for ‘Black Suit’ and the sum of Rs. 14, 78,400/- for ‘Suit Lahore Da’ as advance royalty. Saga submitted that pursuant to the aforesaid Content Assignment Agreements, Karma had irrevocably transferred and exclusively assigned to Saga, all rights, title and interest including the copyright in the aforementioned songs. However, Saga contended that despite the assignments, Karma failed to deliver the content material to Saga.
Saga submitted that reminders were sent to Karma vide emails about the pending delivery of the content material, however there was no response from Karma. Through a credible market source, it was learnt that Karma had approached several other music labels, including Saga’s rivals in the industry with the copies of the Audio Clips of the songs 'Black Suit' and 'Suit Lahore Da', and offered the same for sale and/or license. The Delhi High Court after considering all the submissions and contentions observed that a prima facie case lies in favors of Saga for grant of an ex-parte ad-interim injunction and that there existed an imminent threat of unauthorized and illegal copies of the copyrighted songs being made available to third parties as also over various Internet-based links and websites by Karma. Accordingly, the Court ordered the following directions till the next date of hearing:
  1. Restrained Karma from making copies of Saga’s copyrighted Sound Recordings of songs titled ‘Black Suit’ and ‘Suit Lahore Da’.
  2. Restrained from selling, licensing, offering for sale to third parties any copy of Saga owned recordings.
  3. Restrained from making public, the content owned by Saga in any manner whatsoever which results in infringement of Saga’s copyright.


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