DJ Cheb i Sabbah Files a Copyright Infringement Action

Los Angeles, USA – DJ Cheb i Sabbah filed a copyright infringement action
December 18 of 2003 in Federal Court in Los Angeles. According to Cheb i Sabbah,
his legendary classic hit song “Kese Kese” from his best selling album Shri
Durga
(1999) has been used in the upcoming Bollywood Indian movie soundtrack,
Plan, without his consent. In addition to the music being used unlawfully,
Cheb i Sabbah was not credited for the hit song. Among the defendants are Eros
Entertainment and T-Series music. The film is intended to be released by White
Feather Films, a joint venture production company of Sanjay Dutt, Sanjay Gupta
and Bobby Anand, which also produced Kaante. Entertainment Attorney Anthony Kornarens, a United States based attorney, has
been retained by Cheb i Sabbah to handle the matter involving the copyright
infringement. The lawsuit alleges Eros Entertainment, T-Series, and subsidiary
distributors are in violation of United States Copyright Act of 1976 (17 U.S.C.
§101, et seq.), which gives Cheb i Sabbah exclusive rights to control the use of
his work. Cheb i Sabbah is seeking a court order stopping the distribution of
the film and its soundtrack.

The defendants’ alleged infringement of Kese Kese has been widely distributed in
India, U.S., U.K., and Canada. Plan is expected to be one of the top ten
Bollywood Blockbusters of 2004 according to the IndiaTimes.com. In addition to
the soundtrack, the film will be shown in theaters worldwide, followed by a DVD
release. Despite the popularity of the original “Kese Kese,” Cheb i Sabbah was
never contacted by the film’s producers or music directors for permission to use
his work. Plan’s soundtrack, produced by music director Anand Raj Anand,
uses vocals from the popular Pakistani artist Adnan Sami along with Sunidhi
Chauhan.

Cheb i Sabbah comments, “I am shocked and dismayed to see my work used
without permission. Fortunately for artists who are taken advantage of,
traditional copyright laws offer protection for our creative works from
violations from large corporations
.”

Shri Durga, a best seller at Six Degrees Records,  featured some of
the greatest singers and instrumentalists in the Northern Indian classical music
tradition including the legendary Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, – a musical giant of
an ancient tradition who recorded specifically for Cheb i Sabbah’s project. Even
before Shri Durga was officially released, word got out to DJs around the
world, which lead to danceable “Kese Kese” remixes produced by the hottest
remixers from London for Cheb i Sabbah’s following album MahaMaya. The
trilogy of albums was completed with the success of Krishna Lila, hailed
as “one of the year’s best albums” by BBC Music in 2002. Together, the mythical
albums have designated Cheb i Sabbah as a hallmark of post-modern musical
spirituality and brought him international cult status in the world music genre
throughout the world. His latest album, As Far As – A DJ Mix, has reached
the Billboard top ten of World Music Albums.

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.

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