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Ilayaraja Has Exclusive Rights Over His Compositions, Rules Madras HC

Ilayaraja had filed a case against Malaysian company, AGI Music in 2013 saying the music company has not acquired the rights for a 10-year period but only for 5 years.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:June 5, 2019, 10:08 AM IST
Ilayaraja Has Exclusive Rights Over His Compositions, Rules Madras HC
File photo of music director Ilayaraja.

It is a major win for music maestro Ilayaraja as the Madras High Court has ordered that only he has the right over his own compositions. Hearing in two cases filed by Ilayaraja against AGI Music and Echo Recording company concluded today and the High Court dismissed one case and the other was decreed.

One of the cases was related to a Malaysian Music company, AGI Music and the court observed that the agreement between the company and Ilayaraja was for a five-year period and that the company does not have the rights to use his composition longer than that.

Ilayaraja had filed a case against the Malaysian company in 2013 saying the music company has not acquired the rights for a 10-year period but only for 5 years.

The other case filed against Echo Recording company was also heard today by Judge Anitha Sumanth. The judge ordered that Ilayaraja’s composition can only be used in theatres and his composition should not be used in online music portals, radio stations and reality shows.

Ilayaraja had filed a case against Echo under royalty issues in 2014. In the 1980s, the music maestro had sold the rights to the company for distribution of his composition on cassettes but he claimed that he didn’t get money as royalties from the recording company. Ilayaraja did get temporary relief in 2017 but today a final order was passed on the case.

E Pradeep, Ilayaraja’s lawyer said: “There were two cases, one in 2013 and one in 2014. 2013 case is related to AGI. AGI said whatever rights it has got, it got it for 10 years. They got the approval in 2007 but they have been exploiting after 2012 also. We argued that this was only a period of 5 years and it not valid after that. The court has accepted that the agreement the company and Raja sir signed is valid only for 5 years. With regard to Echo hearing, the court said that music that has been composed by Raja sir is only for theatrical purposes but not for any other medium.”

The legendary musician has time and again said that legal action will be taken against those who use his composition without his permission.

Ilayaraja, in March 2017, sent a legal notice to popular singer S P Balasubrahmanyam, and asked him to not perform songs that have been composed by him without his permission. Balasubrahmanyam who is accompanied by singer Chitra on a world tour took to his Facebook account to share his thoughts on the issue. But the two patched up and SPB also performed on stage for Ilayaraja’s birthday on June 2.

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