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Last Updated 03.04.2020 | 1:08 PM IST



Bombay High Court directs Sony Music and Magnasound to hand over repertoire to original liquidator

Back in 2013, Magnasound, the music label from the late 80s known for its Indipop albums had signed a license deal with Sony Music to exploit its content digitally. As per the contract, the company had entered into a two year exclusive deal with Sony Music starting February 2013 till June 2015 across all digital formats. However, this deal came after the said label wound up operations in the early 2000s when Asha Bhosle filed a petition for non-payment of Rs 1.12 crores as royalty.

Now we hear that the Bombay High Court wherein a case for the same was registered and presided by Judge, S.J. Kathawalla has finally reached a verdict assigning the rights of repertoire of Magnasound India Ltd. to Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd. and directed the latter to hand over the repertoire, including the masters to the Official Liquidator of M/s. Magnasound India Ltd forthwith. Further the court also directed Sony Music Ltd. to hand over the same on expiry of agreement entered into with the Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd.

In the case of Magnasound winding up business, its official liquidator had submitted reports seeking a declaration that a Deed of Assignment executed by Mr. Shashi Gopal, an ex-director of Magnasound India Ltd. (MSIL), in favour of Magnasound Media Pvt. Ltd. (MMPL) is illegal and void. Further the litigation also sought a direction to MMPL and Sony Music Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. to hand over the documents and assets which were the subject matter of the purported Deed of Assignment and also for directions to restrain MMPL and Sony Music from dealing with those assets.

For the uninitiated, in 2002 a company petition was filed by Asha Bhosle, for winding up MSIL on account of its failure to discharge its payment obligations to her. She had claimed that Rs 66.74 lakh was due to her as of March 1, 2001, with interest, towards royalty for sale of her album cassettes and CDs. In 2010, the HC ordered that the firm be wound up for non-payment of dues to creditors. Later in 2012 Bhosle again moved court after Sony Music Ltd. published a public notice inviting objections to its plan to acquire the license to reproduce and publish original songs and videos comprising entire catalogue and repertoire of Magnasound that was taken over by Magnasound Media Private Ltd. However, while Bhosle reached an out-of-court settlement with the firms, the official liquidator filed an application against the deal as well as the agreement that initially sold the rights of Magnasound India to Magnasound Media.

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