Ilaiyaraaja issues copyright notice to Coolie makers for using his song in promo

The promotional video of Coolie, starring Rajinikanth, features Ilaiyaraaja’s song ‘Va Va Pakkam Va’ from the movie Thanga Magan (1983) which also had the actor in the lead role.
Musician Ilayaraja
Musician Ilayaraja
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Music composer Ilaiyaraaja has sent a copyright notice to the makers of Rajinikanth’s upcoming film Coolie for using his music without his permission in the film’s promotional video. The promotional video uses his song ‘Va Va Pakkam Va’ from the movie Thanga Magan (1983),  which also featured Rajinikanth in the lead role. 

According to reports, Ilaiyaraaja has asked the makers of the film to get his permission to remix the song or they should remove the portion of the promotional video featuring the ‘Va Va Pakkam Va’. The notice also mentioned that if appropriate permission is not sought, Ilaiyaraaja would take up the issue legally. 

In April 2024, Ilaiyaraaja filed a petition challenging the single-bench order that had permanently prevented from exercising copyright over his musical work and master recordings for 30 films from the 1980s. The order Ilaiyaraaja challenged is from 2020 and was filed against him by the Indian Record Manufacturing Company (INERCO) claiming ownership over the musical work and sounds recordings in these 30 films. According to The Indian Express, INERCO alleged that they had written agreements with the respective film producers that they were the first owners of the music and other recordings. 

Meanwhile, Ilaiyaraaja contended that he had copyright over his musical work as a composer which the copyright owner of the film could not override. Indian Express mentioned that his lawyers contended that the music company cannot be allowed to hold rights over his work as digital rights came into existence only after 1996. In 2020, the Court maintained that INERCO owned the copyright and could use his musical work. At the same time, the Court also prohibited music companies from making profits with the composer’s songs on reality shows and radio channels without his permission. 

Coolie is directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj and will be Rajinikanth’s 171st movie. The music for the film will be composed by Anirudh Ravichander. This film marks the first collaboration between Rajinikanth and Lokesh Kanagaraj.

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