The Delhi High Court has granted Sholay Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd an ex-parte injunction, ordering Vodafone to stop offering ringtones and caller tunes of the film Sholay, reports Spicy IP. As per the order published on the Delhi High Court website (case 490, 2011), Justice V.K. Jain on March 1st 2010, stated that he was “satisfied that the object of seeking injunction may be frustrated if ex parte injunction is not granted. The defendants are restrained, till further orders, from offering ringtones/caller tunes of the film Sholay to its subscribers without prior permission/license from the plaintiffs.”
Sholay Media & Entertainment Pvt Ltd is essentially the entity in which the rights to the blockbuster Sholay are vested. Following this, another lawsuit was filed by Sippy Films against Vodafone, which, according to our sources focused on ringtone and ringback tone content from the film Sita Aur Geeta; both Sippy Films and Sholay Media & Entertainment are owned by the Sippy Family. We’re told that as over 80 ringtones/ringback tones have been created on the basis of Sholay’s music and dialogues alone; the film is one of the most successful films in India, the source of many a spoof, with its dialogues and characters a part of popular culture.
Telecom operators like Vodafone distribute the content to the end user, but typically there are content aggregators and platform companies that provide ringtone and ringback tone to telcos, and they typically license the content from labels. The Delhi High Court subsequently allowed applications from Universal Music and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) for an impledement (joining the suit as a party) on the 28th, we’re told; Spicy IP reports that Vodafone produced two licencing agreements with both ‘Universal’ and PPL.