CHENNAI: It was a turbulent Sunday for South Indian music fans. In a surprise development, acclaimed singer SP Balasubrahmanyam took to the social media to reveal that he had received a legal notice from musical maestro Ilaiyaraaja, prohibiting him from singing songs composed by the latter at concerts and events. The two of them have collaborated a number of times and have delivered numerous hits over the last five decades.
“Couple of days back, an Attorney representing Shri.Ilaiyaraaja, sent legal notices to me, Smt.Chithra, Charan, organisers of the concerts in different cities and the managements of all the venues, which says that we are not supposed to perform compositions of Shri.Ilaiyaraaja without his permission, if so, it is breaking the copyright law and have to pay huge financial penalities and face legal action. Let me say, I am ignorant of these legalities,” SPB said in a Facebook post. The singer, who is currently in Toronto, is on a world tour to mark his 50th year in the industry.
Saying that he would respond legally to the notice, SPB clarified that he had received no “feelers” from the composer when he set off on the tour. He claimed he had sung “Raja’s songs at earlier concerts but never faced a similar problem”. This is not the first time Ilaiyaraaja has taken the legal route to claiming copyright on his songs. In the past, he had secured a court order against five audio recording companies from selling his compositions, and had argued that the composer must be paid royalty in keeping with the copyright laws.