Ilaiyaraaja solely holds the rights to his songs: Madras High Court
The judgement also applies to digital platforms like YouTube and iTunes
Madras High Court has ruled that music labels and digital platforms should get formal permission from Ilaiyaraaja before using his music.
The copyrights act of 2012 states that all music labels should get approval from the concerned composers before using their music. According to this act, Ilaiyaraaja had filed a complaint on three music labels — Agi music, Giri traders and Echo music — alleging illegal usage of his works.
High Court had previously implemented a temporary stay order for the music labels. But today it has passed a permanent judgment stating that Ilaiyaraaja solely holds the rights to all his songs.
Ilaiyaraaja's legal advisor Pradheep in an interview with Sun News, said, "It's a milestone judgment. It has cleared the confusions surrounding the ownership of copyrights." He went on to explain the details of the judgment. "Agi music had claimed that it owned the rights of Raja sir's songs for ten years, while they had permission only for five years. So the court has given us clearance to sue them for monetary compensation. The judgment has also made it clear that Echo music holds the rights only to the songs played within theatres. This means that playing his music on online platforms like YouTube and iTunes without his approval is illegal."
Incidentally, Ilaiyaraaja and SP Balasubrahmanyam, who were at loggerheads with each other over the copyrights issue, performed together in the live concert, Isai Celebrates Isai, on June 2. It was reported that the issue between them had been sorted as SPB agreed to play royalty to Ilaiyaraaja.