Royalty issue: Composers displeased with verdict

Aug 2, 2011 IANS

Mumbai, Aug 2 (IANS) Composers and lyricists like Javed Akhtar, Vishal Bhardwaj and Ram Sampath Tuesday expressed resentment over a recent Bombay High Court ruling that FM channels don't have to pay separate royalties to composers and lyricists for broadcasting their songs.

"I don't know how the case was fought, the arguments that went in, but the judge said the record company should only get the royalty. The royalty doesn't come to the writer and their composers alone, but the producer and music company also claim their shares on it. So according to this verdict, not only we are in loss but the producers and the music company are partially affected too," said Javed Akhtar, who has been actively fighting for the cause, at a press conference here.

The high court had recently ruled that the Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS), which safeguards the copyright of music composers and lyricists, is not entitled to claim or demand royalty or licence fees from an FM channel for the recorded songs and music it plays on its stations.

Now the IPRS is planning to appeal in the high court against the verdict.

"It is a very frightening situation because it's only the royalty we count upon. The music industry has completely changed, people now believe in buying music digitally and consume digitally. If we have no stake in our music, then we are nowhere," said composer Ram Sampath, whose quirky tunes from "Delhi Belly" have become a rage.

Filmmaker-composer Vishal Bharadwaj said: "The court is saying that IPRS doesn't exist only! According to this rule, if a Bryan Adams song is played here in India, he won't get money for that because our country doesn't agree that there is any such copyright."

Javed Akhtar Pictures


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