Bombay High Court moved by Sony against Ilaiyaraaja Music It has sought damages worth Rs.1.5 crores with an annual interest of 10 percent Sony Music Entertainment India Pvt Ltd has approached the Bombay High Court in a suit seeking a permanent injunction against Ilaiyaraaja Music N Management Pvt Ltd (IMMPL) for infringing its copyright on sound recordings. In December 2021, Sony...
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Bombay High Court moved by Sony against Ilaiyaraaja Music
It has sought damages worth Rs.1.5 crores with an annual interest of 10 percent
Sony Music Entertainment India Pvt Ltd has approached the Bombay High Court in a suit seeking a permanent injunction against Ilaiyaraaja Music N Management Pvt Ltd (IMMPL) for infringing its copyright on sound recordings.
In December 2021, Sony had noticed that a portion of the songs over which it had acquired copyright from the Echo Recording Company, was available on YouTube. IMMPL had been broadcasting and distributing the same to the public.
Sony claimed that out of the 536 title albums, 228 were made available to the public infringing the company's copyright policy. On complaining to IMMPL, it was, in turn, informed that IMMPL claimed ownership over those recordings.
Even as Sony's initiative to meet the director of IMMPL did not materialize, the latter continued to make false assertions.
On the advice of VVJ Law Partners, Sony approached the apex court. It stated, "The use and dealing of the copyrighted work of Sony by IMMPL is without any authority or consent of Sony."
The firm beseeched the court to restrain IMMPL by a perpetual order and injunction from directly or indirectly manufacturing, selling, distributing and publishing the sound recordings. It further sought that IMMPL pays Rs.1.5 crores to Sony as damages with an annual interest of 10 percent from the date of filing of the suit.
The single-judge Justice RI Chagla has, meanwhile, announced the hearing on March 31.
Sony had acquired the copyright of 536 title albums from Echo on sound recordings from various movie producers. This included their musical works written and composed by Ilaiyaraaja.
Thereafter, Echo entered into an agreement with Oriental Records USA, assigning all ownership rights to them. Through a Catalogue Acquisition Agreement, Sony acquired an exclusive assignment of those sound recordings from Oriental.
IMMPL then approached the Madras High Court claiming adverse rights, title and interest in respect of 310 songs. However, the court rejected Ilaiyaraaja's claims, except for the moral rights over the literary and musical works written or composed by him.
The court held that Echo was the legal owner of the sound recordings and entitled to exploit the same. After acquiring the substantial copyrighted works from Echo, Sony entered into a confidentiality agreement with IMMPL to purchase their remaining repertoire.
Sony stated that they intended to exploit the acquired copyrighted works through various modes and mediums including digital distribution. However, around then the company discovered that Echo's repertoire was available on YouTube and the defendants had started broadcasting, distributing and communicating it to the public.