Pay up or face the music, PPL tells major hotels & pubs

27 Dec,2011

By A Correspondent


The city may fall short of venues to welcome the New Year this time as the Phonographic Performance Ltd. (PPL) has served notices to many well-known hotels and pubs. These legal notices have been issued to venues that have not paid the requisite music license fee to play music at their year-end events. PPL plans to initiate strict legal action against defaulters in case the license fee is paid ahead of their planned events. The following hotels have been given interim injunction by the Delhi High Court: Radisson Blu Hotel, Paschim Vihar, Hype at Shangri-La Hotel, QBA, Sheraton Hotel, Hilton Hotel, Double Tree Hilton, ChalChitra, Crowne Plaza, Wyndham Hotel, Club Sirocco, Nautica, Play Lounge Bar, 3 Stories, The Glassy Junction, Hang Out, Club Headquarters, Pritampura. PPL has issued notices to all prominent places which have failed to pay music license fee across the country.


Vipul Pradhan, CEO, PPL said: “New Year parties attract people promising them a good time through a combination of entertainment, food and beverage. A significant component of the sum charged from the customers is for music. Therefore, the music companies whose sound recording is regularly used have a right towards claiming their due because their product is also getting consumed.”


Any performance of Indian or even international music, in public places or commercial establishments such as hotels & resorts, restaurants, bars, pubs, discotheques, cruise liners, cinema halls, shops, offices, and so on, rendered without first having obtained a licence from PPL constitutes an infringement of Copyright under the Copyright Act,  1957. Under the statutory sanction of section 35 in the Indian Copyright Act, playing commercial music in public without paying the requisite license fee is an offence liable to contempt of court. Section 35 grants exclusivity to PPL to issue licenses to hotels/ pubs for playing music during the events in their respective premises. The tariff for the same is calculated on the basis of the number of hours the music is to be played and the number of people expected to attend the event.


“Musical nights and customized New year events rake in huge revenues for organizers. A year ending event cannot be imagined without music! Yet, when it comes to paying for the commercial use of music, the event organizers chose to evade the license fee,” said Mr. Sowmya Chowdhury, Country Head, PPL.


Mr Avinash D’Souza, National Sales Manager, PPL feels: “Music labels have complete authority over the sound recordings and using them without a proper license can bring the events & parties to a standstill. People should also act proactively and check with their chosen properties to avoid a last minute inconvenience or embarrassment. To prevent such situations, this year we have expanded our operations to a National Campaign in all major cities.”


Every year pubs/ hotels target revenues with customized New Year packages but are reluctant to pay a nominal license fee (which varies depending on the number of hours for which the music is played) to PPL. Thus, flouting the norms and eating into the royalties of the music labels. DJs, too, need to abide by PPL guidelines if they continue to play music without paying the license fees.




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