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Panga over pungi song

We have heard of copied songs and we have seen copied videos. Now, here’s a first a copied song made into a copied video! It’s from the movie of the moment, Agent Vinod, and the song is the one the producers wanted to go viral with Pyaar ki pungi.

Iranian music band Barobax Corp has sent a legal notice to the film’s music director Pritam (did we hear an ‘of course’?) and the makers of the film (Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan are the producers) for allegedly copying their track Soosan Khanoom.

The band comprising three Iranian guys Kashayar Haghgoo, Kevian Haghgoo and Hamid Farouzmand supposedly caught the Pungi song on TV and it didn’t take them long to spot the similarity with their own track, Soosan Khanoom. The legal notice demands that the makers refrain from releasing the song in the movie or using it to promote the movie.

Pritam, who has been unavailable for comment ever since the Iranian connection has cropped up, told t2 on Monday: “The similarity is just in the loop and it’s a programmed loop (by Sandeep Shirodkar). There are no copyrights over loops!”

About the song, Pritam the Presidencian said: “Pungi is a musical instrument which is predominantly audible in the song. Hence, the name. The shehnai piece was also extensively used, which was later layered with trumpet.”

A couple of years back Pritam had vowed not to copy songs again and thereafter if any of the soundtracks has had an inspired number, rest assured the rights had been bought. Like even in Agent Vinod, the I’ll do the talking tonight number is credited to Boney M for their 1970s Rasputin number.

But Pyaar ki pungi, sung by Mika Singh, is a Pritam creation according to the album.

After the audio comes the visual twist. The video of Pungi featuring Saif prancing around a hotel the lobby and the staircase is ditto that of Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice video featuring Christopher Walken.

In the original video, Walken is seen waking up from a deep sleep and going berserk in a lobby and on the escalator (Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles), dancing away to the Fatboy Slim song. The CCTV cameras seem to capture his moves.

That video, directed by Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation), won 6 MTV Video Music awards including Best Direction and Best Choreography.

In Agent Vinod, the Pungi song only appears as a background piece and the video, shot to promote the film on TV and on the Net, supposedly only appears with the closing credits of the film. The Iranian legal notice may change those plans. It remains to be seen whether someone sends a legal notice to Saif and company over the video copyright too.

Agent Vinod, also starring Kareena Kapoor, Adil Hussain, Ram Kapoor, Prem Chopra and Gulshan Grover, is slated to release this Friday.


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