Ilayaraja’s Acts – Public Opinion Is Divided On Maestro

The legal battle over copyright ownership of musical works in India has been a complex and ongoing issue, with cases involving renowned composers like AR Rahman and Ilayaraja.

Earlier we have Rahman saying that in the future only music creators and performers will be paid, while music will be free. But then, the issue is arising about their old works.

In the case of AR Rahman, he had tried to stop the remixing of his songs by others. However, the court ruled that since Rahman had already sold the rights to his creative works to producers and music labels, he no longer had exclusive rights over them. This judgment highlighted the complexities around copyright ownership when composers create music for films.

More recently, music maestro Ilayaraja has been embroiled in legal battles over the use of his compositions in films like Manjummel Boys and Rajinikanth’s new movie Vettaiyan.

Ilayaraja, as the composer, argues he holds copyright over his works, distinct from the film producers’ rights. The Madras High Court admitted his plea challenging a previous order restraining him from claiming copyright over his own compositions.

In the case of re-using old albums, surely the producers and music labels own the rights and they are the ones who should be charging the fee. But then, if Ilayaraja is worried about him not getting the credits, that will be up for another legal fight. However, Gen Z is divided over Ilayaraja’s claims.

Some say that Raja Garu should be given all the rights for the kind of glory he brought to film music, songs and films as well. Some however throw a satire that tomorrow Ilayaraja might tomorrow charge people if they sing his songs while taking a bath. Thus, public opinion is divided on this, and we have to see what Courts will say.