Iranian popstar Khashayar Moradi Haghoo, talks to BT about his plagiarism charges against Pritam
Priyanka Dasgupta (BOMBAY TIMES; March 21, 2012)
Pritam’s Pungi song from Saif Ali Khan’s starrer Agent Vinod is courting controversy. Iranian pop band Barobax Corp has sent a legal notice to Pritam, Eros, T-Series and Illuminati Films for allegedly copying from its 2010 number — Soosan Khanoom. The band has three Iranian nationals Khashayar Moradi Haghoo, Kevian Haghgoo and Hamid Farouzmand. Excerpts from an interview with Khashayar:
How did you come to know about the Pungi Baaja number from Agent Vinod?
I came to know about it from satellite television. I have seen the song on YouTube. Our fans also told us about the song.
Where exactly do you find a similarity between Pungi Baaja (PB) and your song?
The first 10 seconds of the music of PB are completely a copy of our number. The first vocal melody is the same. The background vocal is similar. What’s more shocking is that the visual expression and dancing steps of Saif Ali Khan and my expressions in our video are also a copy. There is a girl singing a little portion in PB. The melody of that portion is also a rip-off.
The first 10 seconds of your song has a rhythm loop, very common in terms of Middle Eastern melodies. Tune-wise (or genre-wise) both songs are said to owe their origin to the 70s Iranian song Havar Havar by Kourosh Yaghmai. Are you influenced by Havar Havar?
Every second of our song, including the melody, has been composed by us. Our song is registered under the copyright laws of Canada. I know of the Havar Havar song but I have not heard it. Unless I hear it, I can’t comment.
Have you filed a lawsuit on this already?
We have sent a legal notice to all the four parties involved in the song. That includes Pritam, Eros, T-Series and Illuminati Films. None of them have got back to us. If we don’t hear anything from them, we will file the lawsuit on Tuesday morning.
What kind of compensation are you looking at?
We haven’t yet decided on the compensation amount but it will be in crores.
The buzz is that you’re claiming this for publicity…
We don’t want to sing for Bollywood. If we do that, we will be banned in Iran. Our agenda is to ensure that no one copies from us. We will not let Pritam go scot-free.
Censorship is a huge issue in Iran what with many directors, models and even bands being banned in your country. What’s your take on that?
Every country has its own laws. We have to respect that. If we go out of the country, shoot a video and perform outside, we will be banned in Iran. We have never done that and, hence, are not censored.
Do you miss not having women in your videos?
When we don’t have girls in a video, it is more creative. That’s what makes our videos more funky and unique.
Do you watch Hindi movies?
Yes. We have watched Sholay.