According to the new copyright laws pertaining to artistic ownership, actors in a film can't hum even a line from an old popular song without paying for it.
A snatch of the popular 'Doli Sajake Rakhna Mehendi Lagake Rakhna' hummed by new actress Sayani Gupta in Shonali Bose's highly regarded Margarita With A Straw had to be hastily deleted from the film at the last minute.
According to sources, the snatch of the evergreen song from Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge escaped the film's producers Viacom 18's eyes and ears until just hours before the release.
Says a source, "There was a last-minute panic at this oversight. Viacom18 got in touch with Aditya Chopra who informed them he had no objection to the song-snatch being used in Margarita With A Straw. However, the copyrights of the song belonged to Saregama-HMV who are known to quote staggering sums of money for permission to use even a line of their songs. Viacom decided to drop the DDLJ line at that last minute rather than go through the panic situation of negotiation."
Pahlaj Nihlani, the chairperson of the censorboard says the days of unchecked copyright infringement are gone. "Forget those lengthy antakshari games in films. If you want to use even one line of an old song you've to pay for it. If you've an antakshari in film you've to pay for every song that you use. It is against the law to use artistic property in any form without the owner's consent."