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Singer Sri Lanka sues Tissa Nagodavithana for H.R. Jothi Pala’s song ‘Sudupata Meedum Galala’

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Singer (Sri Lanka) PLC, which is a premier market leader in consumer products having its outlets throughout the entire island, has instituted an Intellectual Property Action bearing no. HC (Civil) 05/2018/IPin the Commercial High Court against M/s. Tissa Nagodavithana Ltd. alleging that an unlawful demand has been made on Singer (Sri Lanka) in respect of the usage of H.R. Jothi Pala’s song ‘Sudupata Meedum Galala’ owing to the reason that Singer (Sri Lanka) had used the said song for one of its advertisements in respect of the Singer ‘Vista TV’.

Singer (Sri Lanka) in its Plaint dated 19 January 2018 has set out that, on 22 December 2017, a Letter of Demand annexing two agreements had been sent by M/s. Tissa Nagodavithana Ltd. demanding Singer (Sri Lanka) on the basis that, M/s. Tissa Nagodavithana Ltd. has the rights to the copyright in respect of the song ‘Sudupata Meedum Galala’, which has been sung by H.R. Jothi Pala. However, Singer (Sri Lanka)’s position taken up in the aforesaid Plaint is that, Singer (Sri Lanka)had reverted to the aforesaid Letter of Demand dated 22nd December 2017,by clearly setting out that the rights in respect of the song ‘Sudupata Meedum Galala’ has been obtained by Singer (Sri Lanka) paying the required license fee to Authors Composers & Publishers Organisation of Sri Lanka (APCO), which is an organisation administered under the supervision of the National Intellectual Property Office in Sri Lanka, in order to use 1.39s of the song in its Singer ‘Vista TV’ advertisement.

Further, Singer (Sri Lanka) claimed through its Plaint that, the Singer ‘Vista TV’ advertisement, which has been commenced to broadcast through inter alia Rupavahini, Hiru TV, ITN, Swarnawahini, Shakthi and Derena TV from on or around 12 December 2017, has obtained wide publicity and thus, any attempt to interfere with the use of 1.39s of the song ‘Sudupata Meedum Galala’ shall cause a serious damage to Singer (Sri Lanka). Furthermore, Singer (Sri Lanka) has set out in itsPlaint that, the song ‘Sudupata Meedum Galala’ was in fact, created by non-other than the musical maestro M.K. Rocksamy from whom no rights have transferred to M/s. Tissa Nagodavithana Ltd.

Singer (Sri Lanka) has also set out in the aforesaid Plaint that, the agreements which have been annexed to the aforesaid Letter of Demand dated 22 December 2017, has not indicated that M.K. Rocksamy has assigned any of his rights of the song ‘Sudupata Meedum Galala’ to M/s. Tissa Nagodavithana Ltd. On this basis, Singer (Sri Lanka) has sought a Declaration of non-infringement and a Permanent Injunction preventing M/s. Tissa Nagodavithana Ltd. from interfering with the broadcasting of Singer (Sri Lanka)’s Singer ‘Vista TV’ advertisement, which is 1.39s in length.  

Singer (Sri Lanka)’s Plaint had been submitted to the Court through M/s. Julius and Creasy Attorneys’-at-Law which has been settled by Dr. Harsha Cabral, PC and Attorneys-at-Law, Nishan Premathiratne, Yasith Hirimburegama and Charith Galhena.


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