After T-Series, now Saregama bullies Indian Film Producers

MUMBAI: When producer Vashu Bhagnani and director Sajid Khan tried to get the rights of Bappi Lahiri’s music in Himmatwala for their proposed remake, they were in for a shock.

The music company Saregama which owns the  Himmatwala songs refused to part ways with the copyrights  and instead insisted that the makers of the new Himmatwala surrender their music rights to Saregama and thereby obtain liberal access to the original songs.

The offer, we hear, has been reluctantly accepted by Vashu and Sajid.

Gone are the days when producers could get the re-mix rights of any song by merely paying the amount fixed on a rate card at HMV.

After the snappy re-mixes of the Hare Rama Hare Krishna classic Dum maro dum and the Laawaris hit Apni to jaise taise, Saregama, the music company that owns the copyrights for a majority of the evergreen hits of yesteryears, has clamped down seriously on the procedure to acquire re-mix rights for their old hits.

From  now on if you want to but an evergreen then pay and let the rights of the re-mix remain with the parent company.

That’s right Saregama, we’ve come to know, now insists on holding on to the rights of the song in its old original and new re-mixed avatars.

Take it or leave it.

So Sajid Khan realized. He apparently trudged down to Saregama in the hope of getting the re-mix rights of the Bappi Lahiri songs in the 1978 hit Himmatwala which Sajid is remaking for producer Vashu Bhagnani with Ajay Devgn in the lead.

Apparently Sajid wants to include two of Bappida’s tracks  Naino mein sapna and Taki re taki in the new Himmatwala. But as things stand now, Sajid gets the songs only if Saregama HMV gets the music rights of the new album.

It would be recalled that there was a big legal situation between Saregama and Sajid Nadiadwala over the song Apni to jaise taise which was included in Sajid Khan’s Housefull.

Confirming these developments, Apurv Nagpal CEO Saregama says, "Yes, we now insist on retaining the rights of the original and the remix. We prefer to buy out the entire rights of an album containing a Saregama remix. Recently when director Samir Karnik wanted to do a re-mix of the title song of our film Chandni for his film Chaar Din Ki Chandni  we acquired the entire music rights of Karnik’s film."

Regarding the songs of Himmatwala Nagpal says, "Yes  they’ve come to us for the re-mix rights. As per our rules they’re welcome to use whichever songs they like as long as we have the remix rights."

Says Nagpal, "We learnt the hard way that it is important to make sure that our classics are not misused or don’t go into the wrong hands."