Singer SP Charan files case against ‘Keedaa Cola’ director Tharun Bhascker. Here’s why

SP Charan demanded an unconditional apology from the director, ₹1 crore towards damages. and a share in the royalty.

BySouth First Desk

Published Feb 22, 2024 | 12:58 PMUpdatedFeb 22, 2024 | 1:22 PM

SP Charan files case against Keedaa Cola director Tharun Bhascker

A first legal case has been filed in the Telugu film industry regarding the unauthorised use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-generated voices. The case has been filed by singer SP Charan, and legendary singer son of legendary singer late SP Balasubramaniam, against director Tharun Bhascker for unlawfully using the AI-generated voice of his father in the film Keedaa Cola (2023).

Charan alleged that Tharun Bhascker did not get permission from the family before using the AI-generated voice of his father in the Telugu movie. The singer also issued a legal notice to the director and sought an apology from him.

Further, Charan demanded ₹1 crore towards damages and a share in the royalty.

According to Charan’s lawyer, her client had no issues if fans recreated the voice of his father-playback singer SP Balasubramaniam using AI. However, permission is needed and credits need to be given when SP’s voice is recreated for movies or commercial purposes.

This is not the first time that AI-generated voices have become a hot topic of discussion.

Oscar-winning music director AR Rahman started the trend. He recreated the voices of singer Bamba Bakya and Shahul Hameed for Rajinikanth-starrer Lal Salaam (2023).

However, Rahman took permission from the respective families and also gave them credit in the film for using the AI-generated voices of the singers.

A wacky crime-comedy, Keedaa Cola featured Chaitanya Rao Madadi, Rag Mayur, Brahmanandam, and Tharun Bhascker as central characters.

Released on 3 November 2023, the film did well at the box office and won laurels for Chaitanya Rao and Rag Mayur laurels for their performances.

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