Cong lands in copyright soup over use of ‘KGF Chapter 2’ music in Bharat Jodo Yatra promos

Amid Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Bharat Jodo Yatra, the Congress party has landed in legal trouble with a music label over copyright violations. MRT Music, owners of KGF2 music rights, on Friday filed a case here against the Indian National Congress (INC) for copyright infringement.

Bangalore-based record label MRT Music stated on Friday that audio visual advertisements featuring Rahul Gandhi released by INC for their marketing campaign had used music from MRT Music without seeking any permissions.

M. Naveen Kumar, Partner, MRT Music, stated, “An entity such as the INC has to set an example for the Indian citizens, however in this scenario, it itself is violating the laws of the land and infringing our copyright and intellectual property rights, which we have acquired through huge investments. This act on the part of INC sends a completely wrong signal to the Indian public and is completely contrary to the efforts of safeguarding our copyrights. This grave infringement will be challenged by us to the fullest effort.”

MRT Music claims to hold music rights of over 20,000 tracks in Kannada, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil and has invested huge sums of money to acquire classic old music to one of the biggest movies of the year ‘KGF Chapter 2’ in Hindi.

The record label alleged that the Indian National Congress has picked up the songs from this movie and without seeking MRT Music’s permission/license in any manner whatsoever has used these songs to create their marketing videos of their very latest “Bharat Jodo Yatra” campaign featuring Rahul Gandhi.

“The INC has created a video by unlawfully downloading and synchronising and broadcasting the songs pertaining to the movie KGF – Chapter 2 in Hindi and portraying it to be owned by the INC. They have also used a logo namely “Bharath Jodo Yatra” in the said video and have broadcasted the same on their official social media handles,” counsel for the complainant noted.

MRT Music’s counsel Narasimhan Sampath stated “The present complaint has been filed against the Indian National Congress represented by its General Secretary, Sri Jairam Ramesh, Smt. Supriya Shrinate, Sri Rahul Gandhi for infringement of copyrights owned by MRT Music.”

Based on the complaint submitted by MRT Music, the police have proceeded to register a FIR in Crime No. 362/2022 for offences punishable under sections 403, 465 and 120B r/w Section 34 of the IPC and under Section 66 of the Information Technology Act, 2000 and under Section 63 of the Copyrights Act, 1957 as against the Indian National Congress and the aforementioned individuals who have been arrayed as Accused no. 1 to 3 respectively.

The complaint mainly pertains to the unlawful fraudulent and illegal actions of the members of the steering committee in so far as violating the copyrights owned by MRT Music.

MRT Music has filed the present complaint only to enforce its statutory rights and has no intentions to tarnish the image of any political party, the counsel stated.

As part of his Bharat Jodo Yatra, Rahul Gandhi had traversed Karnataka over three weeks in October.

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