Ola plays songs without permission, faces police music


Bengaluru police conducted a search operation at Ola offices across the city over copyright issue on a complaint by Lahari Recording Co.

Police seized hard disks and other electronic devices over a complain, that the songs had been illegally downloaded and were being played in the company’s taxis without the requisite permission, reported ET.

Police also conducted surprise checks on Ola cabs throughout the city and seized some of them.

A copyright infringement case has been filed against Ola CEO Bhavish Aggarwal and CTO Ankit Bhati, stating that the Ola Play feature launched by the company in November 2016, violates its copyrights. According to Lahari, Ola is earning illegal profits out of their copyrighted works. The complaint was filed last month.

Lahari Velu, Founder of Lahari Recording Co. said, “I booked an Ola cab to go to the airport and that is when I found that without attaining any music rights they were using songs from Baahubali and other films for their Ola Play feature. This is resulting in a loss of over Rs 6 crore for our company.”

Notice has been issued to both the accused to show their copyrights on songs. Both accused didn’t turn up on notice. We have given some more time and if they fail to appear, we will arrest them and produce before the court, said a police officer.

While replying to this, Luthra & Luthra, Ola’s lawyers, said the company hadn’t engaged in any wrongdoing.

“It appears that the management of Ola has been dragged into this issue with a mala fide intention,” it said in a statement. “We are confident that our client will stand vindicated of these allegations. Our client is sensitive to their rights as well as that of others. We have taken appropriate legal steps to protect our client’s interests and the matter is now before the courts.”

Ola is present in 102 Indian cities and has more that 5,00,000 vehicles running on its platform.

Earlier this month, cab aggregator company has raised $50 million (Approx Rs 322 cr) funding from NY hedge fund Tekne Capital Management. The recent funding from Tekne Capital takes Ola’s total capital raised to date to about $2.4 billion.

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