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Isaignani Ilaiyaraja's royalty cases and high court verdict explained!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 • Tamil Comments

Isaignani Ilaiyarajas royalty cases and high court verdict explained!

Isaignani Ilaiyaraja scored a major victory in a much awaited legal case, as the Madras High Court has pronounced its verdict that only the Maestro has the rights over his own compositions. Yesterday, the hearing of the two cases filed by Ilayaraja against AGI Music and Echo Recording company were completed, with the High Court dismissing one of them and the other had its verdict issued.

In the case pertaining to the Malaysian Music company AGI Music the court made an observation that there was a five year agreement between the company and Ilaiyaraja and post the agreement period, the company would no longer possess the rights to make use of his compositions. In 2013 this case against AGI music was filed by Isaignani   Ilaiyaraja stating that the company had acquired the rights for a time frame of 5 years while they plan to use it for 10 years.In another case that the master musician had filed  against Echo Recording company in 2014, Judge Anitha Sumanth who heard the proceedings pronounced the verdict that Ilaiyaraja’s compositions can be exhibited only in theaters and not on online music portals, radio stations or reality shows. In the 1980s, Ilaiyaraja had sold the rights for distribution of his music on cassettes but revealed that the company did not pay the royalties and though there was a temporary solution to the case in 2017, now the final verdict has been issued. 


As said by Ilaiyaraja's advocate E Pradeep, there were two cases, one was the 2013 case related to AGI, the company which claimed to have rights for 10 years.After getting approval in 2007 for a period of 5 years, they were using his music even after 2012, and the court has accepted that the agreement was signed between the company and Raja sir only for 5 years. For the case on Echo music, court has ordered usage of Raja's music only for theatrical purposes and not any other medium. Quite often, one could see that the legend makes it a point that legal action will be taken against those using his works without his permission. It must be noted that in 2017, Ilaiyaraja had a sent a legal notice to legendary singer and his friend  S P Balasubrahmanyam to not perform songs composed by him without his permission. After more than an year of cold relations, the duo recently patched up and SPB performed in the recent concert held on Ilaiyaraja’s birthday on June 2.

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