Radio broadcasters thumbs up to Copyright Bill

24 May,2012

By A Correspondent


The Copyright Amendment Act which was passed recently in Lok Sabha has come as a huge relief, not only for the artists, musicians and content creators, but also for the Indian radio fraternity.


This bill will allow the Copyright Board to decide the royalty rates for the broadcasters, which until now was decided by the PPL (Phonographic Performance Ltd.). PPL is the copyright society with respect to sound recordings. While the bill is clearly beneficial for the rightful owners of the copyright, how much profitable will it be for the radio broadcasters, will be known only once the copyright board decides on the rates that the broadcasters may have to pay for the copyright owners.


The Copyright Amendment Act 2012 allows artists, song writers and performers to claim the royalties for content creation. While the bill has also made it mandatory for both radio and television broadcasters pay royalty to the copyright owners each time their content is broadcasted, what it also ensures is that unlike before, the amended Copyright Act will allow broadcasters to pay music royalties on a pro-rata basis. As a result, it will help broadcasters generate more revenues.


What they say:

Speaking to MxMIndia, Ms Anurradha Prasad, Chairperson cum Managing Director, B.A.G Network and president of Association of Radio Operators for India (AROI) said: “We welcome the Copyright Amendment Act because it will bring a sea change in the industry. The radio industry has been bleeding because of the huge royalties it has to pay for the music. Therefore, it is a great step forward, and I believe it is a win-win situation for the entire chain because it will bring in more transparency and, as a result, more revenues will be generated.”


Mr Vipul Pradhan, CEO of PPL said that while he welcomed the amendment that the royalties be given to the rightful owners of the content, what he is not pleased with is the statutory licensing for users as it would take away the monetizing rights of the music companies, nevertheless, PPL will abide by the law. “We welcome the Copyright Amendment Act and we will follow the new law. We welcome the first part of the amendment which allows the rightful owners of content to get their royalties. However, it is the second part of the amendment – the statutory licensing for the users is something that we are not happy about.”


“The statutory licenses for the users are basically the people who are using our content as business activity which is where I think the statutory license of content for radio or television is something that is not desirable. We will see how the statutory licenses for users will impact the music companies in the long run. So, while we welcome the move to allow artists and content creators to claim their royalties for their work, it is the statutory licensing for users that concerns us because it will take away the monetization rights of the music companies, which in the long run could affect the creation of these rights,” he added.


Rabe T Iyer, Business Head, Big FM explained: “It is a constructive and beneficial step in truly recognizing the real owners of music and not just the labels who pitch and buy them. It is also a fair distribution of rights which will lead to increasing talent pool, greater accountability of quality and continued effort to innovate. I believe it will provide greater flexibility for radio stations to play music recomposed or readjusted by creators of songs and it will allow more artists, song writers to get their dues.”


Mr Amitabh Srivastava, Country Manager, Radio Netherlands noted that this move is very much in sync with industry requirements as it would resolve most of the royalty issues faced by the radio industry. Mr Srivastava also said that unlikeIndia, the international model of intellectual property rights is quite rigid as it ensures that the owners of the copyright get their due shares, and that with the passage of this legislation we can expect international standards in copyrights as well. “This bill is more beneficial for content owners than the radio broadcasters. This bill will bring legitimacy in the royalty issues and it will promote more self generating content which is not happening right now. So, it is a welcoming change because when copyright is legitimized, even the broadcasters will be allowed to create their own content which we do not see taking place as of now.”


Shreyams Kumar, Director Mathrubhumi said: “We don’t mind paying money to the artists, but paying money to the music companies which does not reach the rightful owners is what we don’t approve. Thus the Copyright Amendment Act is a welcome move as it will lead to more transparency in the music and broadcast industry. This amended act will definitely be a cost saver for the radio industry and it will certainly help the radio industry in the long run.”


Ms Monica Nayyar Patnaik, Joint Managing Director at Eastern Media Ltd and Mr Naval Toshniwal, CEO Tomato FM and Vice President, Pudhari Publications were of the view that this bill is a step in the right direction which will benefit the radio industry and act as a cost saver for the industry.


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2 responses to “Radio broadcasters thumbs up to Copyright Bill”

  1. Himanshu says:

    Please educate with an example…I play a song from the movie Rockstar on my radio station…whom all do I pay the royalty, Is it:

    A R Rahman (Music Director) – Yes/No
    Irshad Kamil (Lyricist) – Yes/No
    Mohit Chauhan (Performer/Singer) – Yes/No
    Sound Recording – Eros/T-Series – Yes/No

    How the pro rata royalties will be administered and what is meant by pro rata royalties? Does pro-rata royalties mean part playout of the song or individual percentages for Author/Composer and Performer.

    As per my understanding IPRS did the same job of distributing royalties to Author/Composer. Will it continue to do so but the rates will be decided by Copyright Board? Am I right?