The Madras High Court on Tuesday ruled that Ilaiyaraaja was entitled to “special moral rights” over 4,500 songs composed by him for more than 1,000 movies in his career spanning over four decades.

Decreeing a civil suit filed by him in 2014 against a group of music labels, including Malaysia-based Agi Music, Echo Recording of Chennai, Unisys Info Solution of Andhra Pradesh and Giri Trading Company of Mumbai, Justice Anita Sumanth held that the composer was entitled to the moral rights in line with Section 57 of the Copyright Act, 1957.

Right of composer
The Section protects the right of a composer to claim a right over his compositions even after assigning them wholly or partially to others.

It also entitles him to restrain or claim damages in respect of any distortion, mutilation, modification or other act in relation to his work if such distortion, mutilation or modification would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation.