License to play music haunt Guwahati hoteliers this New Year

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Guwahati, Dec 24 (UNI) It may not be a 'musical' New Year for party-goers in Guwahati, since the administration has decided to go tough on erring discotheques and hoteliers.

The restriction in this case is not on holding parties, but on playing music and hosting musical performances by the hotels and discos.

The Kamrup (Metro) administration has issued notices to at least 36 discotheques, hotels and lounge bars, asking them to get licenses from the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), an agency under the Human Resources Development ministry, before hosting any musical performance within their premises.

With only five parties responding to the notice so far, the district administration are headed for taking recourse to tougher actions. It would either crack down on the erring parties or file a law suit for infringement of the law of the land, in the case, the Copyright Act of 1957.

While talking to reporters here today, Regional Head of the PPL (East) Supriyo Mukherjee, pointed out that any performance of Indian or International music in commercial establishments cannot be done without obtaining permission from the PPL.

''The violation is cognizable and non-bailable in nature, carrying a penalty of Rs two lakh and three years imprisonment,'' he added. He said the amount collected through licensing goes to the music companies.

The Indian Music Industry(IMI), a conglomerate of almost all the top music companies, engages the PPL to ensure that the organisers of musical performances obtain the required license.

PPL's executive licensing(NE) Bhaskar Mukherjee said the music industry losses a lot of money due to non-obtaining of the license.

Stressing that the PPL had been engaged in a concerted effort to create awareness about the licensing responsibility in NE over the past year, especially Guwahati, he said.

''We are now left with no choice but to impose the law. Of course, we don't want to spoil anyone's party but have no choice,'' he aded.


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