Tamil Nadu

HC restrains recording company from commercially exploiting songs by ‘Mahanadhi’ Shobana

The Madras High Court has restrained Symphony Recording Company from commercially exploiting the Tamil devotional songs and English nursery rhymes sung by Carnatic musician K. Shobana alias ‘Mahanadhi’ Shobana, now 39, when she was just an 14-year-old in 1996.

Justice M.S. Ramesh granted the interim injunction after being prima facie satisfied with submissions of her counsel G. Harihara Arun that a document of declaration, termed as agreement, was signed when his client was a minor and hence it would be invalid in the eye of law.

Though the recording company had claimed it to be an agreement, a reading of the document showed that it was actually a declaration by a minor girl giving a right to the company to record and commercially exploit about five devotional songs and 37 English nursery rhymes, the judge said.

Since the document also does not mention any time period for assignment of the copyright, such a right reportedly accrued by the company would get extinguished automatically after the expiry of five years as per Section 19(5) of the Copyright Act, the judge added.

In her affidavit, the singer stated that she was trained by accomplished Carnatic musicians since she was five years of age and became famous at the age of 11 when she acted as a child artist in a national award winning Tamil movie Mahanidhi.

It was thereafter, the recording approached her for recording devotional songs such as Kandhashashthi Kavasam, Kandha Mugangal, Ninaikadha Neramillai, Azhagaana Pazhani and the popular English nursery rhymes in her voice and got two documents signed in 1995 and 1996.

Using those documents, the company was still making money from the albums by unauthorisedly downloading her latest photographs from her Facebook page and was refusing to disclose true accounts of the money made by the company so far using her songs, the plaintiff claimed.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 1:34:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-restrains-recording-company-from-commercially-exploiting-songs-by-mahanadhi-shobana/article31035216.ece

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