Court issues Enjoining Order against Santhush Weeraman

The Colombo Commercial High Court has issued an enjoining order against four defendants including popular music artist Santhush Weeraman and Saregama Music (Pvt) Limited for allegedly violating the copyrights of the song ‘Me Bajar Ekata Malli’ owned by renowned award-winning musician, composer and singer Dr. Rohana Weerasinghe.

Colombo Commercial High Court Judge Priyantha Fernando has issued an enjoining order restraining four defendants including Santhush Weeraman from publishing, advertising, reproducing and selling the song titled ‘Me Bajar Ekata Malli’ on any internet or social media platforms.

Dr. Rohana Weerasinghe, who is the musical composer of the popular song ‘I Bajar Ekata Malli’ had filed a lawsuit in Colombo Commercial High Court under the Intellectual Property Act No. 36 of 2003 against Saregama Music (Pvt) Limited, Saregama Films (Pvt) Limited, Santhush
Weeraman and Ceylon Cold Stores PLC for violating his intellectual property rights.

The plaintiff, Dr. Rohana Weerasinghe is the musical composer of the popular song ‘Me Bajar Ekata Malli’. The lyricist and the vocalist of the song are Prof. Sunil Ariyarathna and Gayan Perera, respectively. The plaintiff states that the song was first released in Sri Lanka on 23rd October 2015. The song was created for the film titled ‘Address Na’ (No Address),  a film by Jackson Anthony and produced by Janitha Marasingha.

Dr. Weerasinghe stated that being the copyright owner of the said song, the plaintiff only granted permission to use the said song solely for the film titled ‘Address Na’.
On or around 23rd December 2020, it was brought to the attention of the plaintiff that, the said song which was created by Plaintiff has been reproduced and distorted by the defendants by uploading the song on their YouTube Channel via Elephant House Cream Soda Pop Studio Youtube Channel, in which the song was sung by an amateur singer named Siyum Sandeep.

Dr. Weerasinghe alleged that the Defendants have re-produced the said song for a commercial purpose without any lawful right or permission.

The Plaintiff and the lyricist of the song Prof. Sunil Ariyarathna had made a complaint regarding the said violations of their intellectual property rights to the Outstanding Song Creators’ Association of Sri Lanka (OSCA) to resolve the said dispute but all to no avail.

The two artists Bathiya Jayakody and Santhush Weeraman had sent a letter
to the President of the OSCA Jayantha Dharmadasa dated 20.01.2021 in which the ownership of the song being of the Plaintiff is acknowledged and the said letter has been in circulation on various social media platforms.

The plaintiff is demanding Rs.25 million as damages from the defendants for the infringement of the
Plaintiff’s copyright is protected under the Intellectual Property Act.

President’s Counsel Chandaka Jayasundere with Attorney At Law Vishmi Fernando and Counsel Rukmal Cooray under the instructions of Attorney at Law Lakshika Rathnayaka appeared for the Plaintiff.

The plaintiff has created melodies for over 5000 songs for more than 1000 vocalists including Radio, cassettes, CDs, Teledramas, Stage Plays and Films. He has composed music for 82 Films, 322
Teledramas and five Stage Plays.