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‘The 2014 Ban On Using My Songs Still Holds; Has No Bearing On The Dismissed Case Against Echo’: Ilaiyaraaja

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Composer Ilaiyaraaja, in a press statement released this morning, clarified that while the Madras High Court has quashed his criminal case against Echo Recording Company, the case over his patent and copyright still continues.

“As per the case filed in 2014, the ban on using my songs is valid, and there is no change in that. Legal action will be taken if it has been violated and we are awaiting the final judgement. Only the case filed in 2010 against Echo Recording Company stands nullified.”

The note further read: “I request the media not to speculate about the copyrights case and report fake news, failing which the said media houses will be booked for contempt of court and penalised.”

The Madras High Court had earlier dismissed the criminal proceedings initiated by composer Ilaiyaraaja against Echo Recording Company for copyright violations. In 2010, Ilaiyaraaja had filed a criminal complaint against the recording company accusing it of violating the copyrights of his songs and for not paying him royalty. The counsel for Echo Recording Company had called the composer’s accusations baseless and filed a petition stating that Ilaiyaraaja was paid by the producers for his songs and was thus not eligible to acquire full rights over them. They also called it a civil issue and sought the quashing of the FIR filed against the company.

The case though, was recently dismissed by Justice MV Muralidaran. According to reports, Justice Muralidaran concurred with the counsel for the recording company that the composer ought not to have initiated criminal proceedings. He further stated that it would be appropriate for the composer to pursue a civil suit.

The order read: “Therefore, the criminal proceedings set in motion by virtue of a private complaint converted into FIR on the file of the respondent police (Central Crime Branch) cannot be permitted to continue. Accordingly, the petition is allowed and the FIR is hereby quashed.”

Ilaiyaraaja had lodged the complaint in March 2010 and an FIR was registered in April 2010 for cheating under the IPC and the Copyright Act.

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