In a historic judgement the Kolkata High Court on Jan 9 ordered the IPRS(Indian Performing Rights Society Ltd) and the PPL(Phonograph Performance Ltd) to pay royalty to music composers and lyricists in accordance with the amended provision of the relevant copyright act.
The order came in a Civil Revision Petition filed before the honourable Kolkata High Court by writer Javed Akhtar who has been carrying on a crusade in favour of writers and composers’ right to royalty for nearly four years now.
Speaking on Javed Saab behalf his counsel Sanjay Tandon, “The Copyright Act was amended in 2012 thanks to Javed Saab. Then Javed Saab sent a letter to the central government to bring to its attention the alleged irregularties in the workings of the two organizations IPRS and PPL which collect royalties on behalf of the music industry. Due to Javed Saab’s imploration the central government issued a showcause notice to both the IPRS and the PPL to explain all the allegations leveled by Javed Saab.”
Rather than answering the showcase notice the relevant organizations allegedly set up a small music audio music company in Kolkata named Asha Audio and got an injunction against proceeding against the inquiry .
Says Tandon, “The whole strategy seems like a thrilling Bollywood movie. How can an inquiry against the central government be stopped in this manner? Javed Saab appealed against this order in the Kolkata High Court and the Kolkata High Court clarified that the royalties have to be distributed to composers and lyricists based on the current copyright act which came into implementation on 21 June, 2012. This is big victory for the composers and lyricists. Because now we’re assured that at least the royalties that were being distributed would be done in accordance with the new amended law. It’s a big triumph for Javed Saab’s crusade to get writers and composers their due.”
Interesting Javed Saab’s counsel Sanjay R Tandon was with the IPRS for 14 years. He says he resigned because of the alleged irregularities.
Says Tandon, “In 2004 the music companies and certain music composers wanted me to distribute royalties only amongst them and cheat the other composers and writers of their rightful money.I refused. I resigned. Now I’ve joined hands with Javed Saab to give the writers and composers their rights. Music is a passion for me.”