A copyright infringement case has been filed against Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal and chief technical officer Ankit Bhati on a complaint by Lahari Recording Co. Following the complaint, the police searched Ola’s offices in Bangalore and seized hard disks and devices used to download and store the songs locally and stream them on Ola Play, the company’s in-car entertainment platform, the report added.
The complaint was filed by Lahari Recording Company, alleges that the Ola company has illegally downloaded and streamed the popular Telugu and Kannada songs on Ola Play. The issue came to light after the director of the company, Tulsiram Naidu booked a cab in Bangalore and realised that the songs from ‘Baahubali’ and ‘Khaidi No 150’ were being played in the car without taking any permission or license from the company by Ola. He said, He said, “They (people running Ola) are IIT boys and educated. They know what they are doing is illegal. I am surprised.” He also claimed his legal team lodged a complaint with the Bengaluru police for copyright violations. “Till date, nobody came to us for licensing the songs,” he further added. This is why we have a loss of about 6 Cr in the future.
Bhavish Aggarwal and Ankit Bhati have secured anticipatory bail following the police action. On the other hand, certain reports suggest that the police have accused them of absconding.
Ola legal counsel “Luthra and Luthra “said tthat Ola conducted its business legally and ethically and its management “has been dragged into this issue with a mala fide intention”. “We are confident that our client will stand vindicated of these allegations. We have taken appropriate legal steps to protect our client’s interests and the matter is now before the courts.” Regarding this query an email is send by the VCCircle to Ola for seeking for more comment on the matter did not elicit an immediate response
Ola had launched Ola Play in November last year. The in-car entertainment system uses customuser preferences and ride information, such as time and destination, to offer recommendations. It also lets customers tweak the air-conditioning. Ola has tied up with Qualcomm for this service and offers music and video-streaming from Apple Music, Sony LIV, and Audio Compass.
The police said, “The notice has been issued to both the accused to show their copyrights on each song. Both accused didn’t turn up on notice and we will wait for some more time. If they fail to appear, we will arrest them and produce before the court.”
However, Ola’s lawyers denied that their client had engaged in any wrongdoing.