Ilaiyaraja has been very particular when it comes to royalty and intellectual property rights for his compositions. In the past, he sent a legal notice to his best friend SP Balabsubramanyam and asked him to not sing his compositions without prior permission.
He also asked the music channels and the Radio stations to stop using his compositions without paying the Royalty fee. Now, Ilaiyaraja has thrashed the composers especially, ’96 composer Govindh Vasantha in particular for using his music, said that this is a poor display of machismo and shows that they do not have the stuff to come up with similar songs that evoke the same feeling.
Recently, the movie ’96 has had a lot of songs from Ilaiyaraja’s composition.
Ilaiyaraaja said, “It is wrong on so many levels. It is not necessary to use the hit songs of a particular period just because the story unfolds at the same time. Those who are not capable are using my songs which were chartbusters. The main reason behind this is that the new age composers do not have the ‘stuff’ to come up with similar songs that evoke the same feeling.”
“This is a poor display of machismo. I would consider this as a weakness of the composer who is unable to come up with new tunes. If the story is set in the 80s, then come up with songs that evoke a similar feel. Why couldn’t composers come up with new songs? Because they cannot separate my music from the people. This is the reason why people use my songs.”
Ilaiyaraaja has composed for over 1000 films in different languages. He is gearing up for another live-in-concert, which will bring back singers SP Balasubramanyam, KJ Yesudas and KS Chitra together again, after the controversial issue over royalty.