In 1988 Difang and Igay traveled to France to sing on tour, during which they and around 30 other aboriginal Taiwanese artists were paid $15 a day. Their performances were recorded by the Maison des Cultures du Monde ("Institute for World Cultures"), part of the French Ministère de L'éducation Nationale ("National Education Ministry"), and put onto an "anonymous" compilation of "Taiwanese aboriginal songs" to be used for educational purposes. Six years later, Michael Cretu, the creative mind behind the Ibiza-based Romanian/German musical project Enigma, believing the recording to be in the public domain, sampled the recording on his song "Return to Innocence". After Taiwanese press agencies identified the Duanas' performance, the couple were offered a contract with Magic Stone, a subsidiary of the Taiwanese indie label, Rock Records; their music achieved little exposure outside of Taiwan.
In 1998, the Duanas filed suit against Cretu and EMI for violation of copyright. The suit was settled out of court in July 1999 for an undisclosed amount. The couple reportedly used some of the money to set up a scholarship fund for Amis children. Magic Stone's attorney also won a suit against the French government, but the government insisted on giving the money to a folk art foundation in trust, and not to the Duanas. In response to the lawsuits, Robin Lee, director of Taiwan's Association of Recording Copyright Owners, claimed that since performers of traditional folk music aren't authors, they have no copyright. Lee was wrong because the standard practice is to list the music as traditional (no copyright), but the arrangement of it as copyrighted. The Duanas have been credited on all subsequent releases of the song.
The media attention garnered by the Duanas' legal case piqued public interest in their music. Dan Lacksman of Deep Forest, in collaboration with Magic Stone Records and the Duanas, produced the ethnic electronica album, Circle of Life. The album was released in 1998 under the artist name Difang, though both Difang and Igay perform on the record. A second album, Across the Yellow Earth, was released in 2001.
Difang died on March 29, 2002, from septicemia. He had struggled with diabetes for many years, and his health deteriorated significantly after he was bitten by a venomous centipede in October of the previous year. Igay died shortly thereafter, on May 16, 2002, after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. She had been initially diagnosed on July 8, 1996.