Understand Ilayaraja's Stance on going Legal

Ilaiyaraaja, a great composer who has written music for over 1,000 films and performed in over 20,000 concerts, is currently involved in a legal struggle against people who use his tunes without permission. Instant replies on social media indicate he should relax, with some claiming that utilising his tunes in other films is an homage. Some accuse him of greed for issuing legal letters to producers, such as Manjummel Boys, for utilising his tunes.
This issue is not new. Ilaiyaraaja has been pursuing this struggle since 2017, when he prevented vocalists such as the late sp balasubrahmanyam and Chitra from singing his tunes at concerts. That same year, he prevented the karaoke software Smule from exploiting his instrumentals, alleging Intellectual Property Rights infringement. Currently, there is a dispute on social media regarding whether it is inappropriate for a film like Manjummel Boys to utilise his music. Some say that because the producer paid him to write the song, Ilaiyaraaja no longer owns the copyright.

However, the fact is that Ilaiyaraaja is battling against corporations who are exploiting his work. The legal regulations governing music copyrights in india remain ambiguous. Ilaiyaraaja is attacking large corporate music firms that control his music and use it for profit without due respect. While social media trolls focus on the issue of re-using his tunes, the famed composer is leading a much larger legal struggle.

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