A day after singer SP Balasubrahmanyam (SPB) revealed that music director Ilaiyaraaja had sent him a legal notice for performing his compositions without his permission, Ilayaraja's brother, music composer and his brother Gangai Amaran has lashed out at the maestro.
The remark from Gangai Amaran comes after SPB took to social media to disclose that he had received a legal notice from Ilaiyaraaja.
SPB, meanwhile, claimed that he did not get any “feelers” from the music composer when his SPB50 tour began and that he is “ignorant” of the law. The singer also informed his fans that given the current circumstances, he will not be performing songs composed by the music director in his SPB50 tour. The news however, led to several questions as many wondered if there was more to the legal notice.
In an interview to News7, Gangai Amaran, who is a music director himself, termed Ilaiyaraaja's move forbidding SPB to sing his songs as 'foolishness'. This is not the first time Gangai Amaran has spoken out against his brother. The animosity between the siblings is well known and they had reportedly even split and started working independently following multiple clashes.
Illaiyaraaja's copyrights consultant E Pradeep Kumar, in an interview to The News Minute, however claimed people had misunderstood the issue.
"Ilaiyaraaja has given two press meets in the last few years telling people not to perform his songs unless they get permission from him and pay royalty. It is not anything new. SPB has created a situation where a legal notice had to be sent,” says Pradeep. “We are not compelling orchestras or musicians who are surviving on Ilaiyaraaja’s music to pay up royalties. We are only concentrating on people who are earning lakhs or crores by using his creations. SPB is not doing charity shows. They are minting money and the composer doesn’t get 1 rupee. It is his work and creation.”
In 2015, the music maestro had warned radio stations and television channels of legal action if they played his songs without his consent.
“Only I hold the right to all my songs. The agreements that I signed back in the day were valid only for five years. Since they were not renewed and no royalties have been paid, all agreements stand void,” Ilaiyaraaja said in 2015. He had also gone on to say that he would share the royalties he received from these broadcasters with the film producer, singers and lyricists.
(Inputs from Digital Native)