The group of six producers including, PT Selvakumar and R Chandrasekhar, submitted on Saturday that Ilaiyaraaja cannot claim copyright ownership for songs he had composed.

Producers who filed case against Ilaiyaraaja are trying to gain publicity
news Copyright Issues Monday, December 24, 2018 - 16:46

A day after six film producers from the Tamil industry moved the Madras High Court against composer Ilaiyaraaja's claim that he holds the copyright to songs in films that he has worked in, the music director's copyrights consultant has termed the petition as a publicity stunt. He further told TNM that so far, the music composer is yet to receive any income from royalties.

The group of six producers including, PT Selvakumar and R Chandrasekhar, submitted on Saturday that Ilaiyaraaja cannot claim copyright ownership for songs he had composed.  They have argued that the producer is always the first owner of all copyright of the film including audio and visuals in songs. They point out that it is the producer who in consultation with the director engages artists and technicians for a movie and that a fixed remuneration is given to them. The producers' group points out that this has been the practice in Indian cinema industry for over 80 years. They have allegedly even stated that Ilaiyaraaja has earned Rs 400 crore from royalties and that he should give away 50% of it to the producers he worked with.

Countering their allegations, E Pradeep Kumar, Ilaiyaraaja's copyrights consultant says, "First of all Ilaiyaraaja has not collected even a single rupee as royalty. Where are their figures from? How can they demand Rs 200 crore, when there is no proof of this income.”

He also points out that none of the producers who have filed the petition in court have worked with the music director. Pradeep says, "They are clearly trying to create a problem here and gain publicity from this. None of these producers have even worked with Ilaiyaraaja, so where it the question of them having losses? As for the other producers, Ilaiyaraaja's music has led to movie reaching silver and golden jubilees. Did any of them come and share their profits then?"

Pradeep notes that the producers should approach the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) for payment or question TV channels and radios for using the music without permission.

"They should demand money from those who utilise the songs, not the creators," he points out.

The producers had contended that if Ilaiyaraaja was allowed to do this then all artistes including their hero, comedian, technicians and the art director would claim ownership over their contribution and scenes in the film, leaving those who are investing enormous amounts in the film 'high and dry'. However, it is to be noted that composers like AR Rahman own the complete Intellectual Property to his compositions, allowing him to reproduce his musical works in different languages. 

 

 

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