Hyderabad: In recent times orchestras and individual musicians are finding it difficult to organise live shows in India even in Hyderabad as Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) has been issuing notices asking them to refrain from singing songs in public functions in which the PPL has exclusive rights.
The Indian Phonographic Industry (IPI) and the Association of Phonogram Producers have formed the special body to administer the rights of its member music companies’ public performance and broadcasting rights.
The PPL has been claiming that it owns, as assignee, and exclusively controls, public performance rights and radio broadcasting rights in more than 5 lakh songs (sound recordings) in Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Malayalam, Bhojpuri and other Indian languages, including both film and non-film songs such as ghazals, devotional, folk, pop, classical, etc, of its more than 250 members, who are music labels.
High court advocate B. Chandrasen Reddy said that the PPL was issuing notices to hotels and orchestras not to perform the songs which belonging to the music companies registered with the PPL in functions, particularly during New Year celebrations. He said, “Since 2005, whenever PPL has issued notices to hotels and orchestras in the city we have been challenging them before the courts.”
He said that PPL claims that TV channels were paying royalty for songs sung on their reality shows, and, similarly, orchestras and musicians must pay royalty whenever they perform songs that it has the copyright on.
Lawyer S. Pradeep Kumar was of the opinion that musicians and orchestras could be prevented from singing/playing a particular song when it had been placed in the public domain by way of CD, DVD or internet, and that singing a song in orchestras cannot be termed an infringement under the Copyright Act, as there is no such prohibitory clause under the Act.
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