New year bash venues on notice for not paying for music

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New Delhi, Dec 31 (UNI) On the new year eve, a large number of hotels and pubs across the country find themselves slapped with legal notices by the Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) for not paying licence fee to play music at their gala events on the occasion.

Somaya Chowdhury, National Sales Manager-Events, PPL told UNI that the defaulters list this year includes some of the top venues of big cities, including the capital.

''Musical nights and customized New year packages bring in a huge amount of revenue for pubs and hotels. You cannot imagine a New Year's bash without music! Yet when it comes to paying for the commercial use of music, the profit makers choose to evade the license fee,'' he said Mr Chowdhury said the end consumers, the party goers enjoy the event without realizing the repercussions of the choices their favorite party place makes, that results in losses for artists and music companies.

''Playing commercial music without paying a copyright license fee is liable to contempt of court under Section 35 in the Copyright Act. To control the situation, this year we have expanded our operations to a National Campaign in all major cities,'' Mr Chowdhury said.

The revenue from the new year packages ranges from Rs 1500 - 20,000 but the organisers and owners refuse to pay the nominal tariff of Rs 40,000 onwards (which varies depending on the number of hours for which the music is played), thus flouting the norms and eating into the royalties of the performers and artistes, he said.

Under section 35 in the Copyright Act, playing commercial music without paying the requisite license fee is an offence liable to contempt of court. This includes the communication of music to the public in any form, be it acoustic or visual and covers music recorded in any format or communicated by way of a Radio, a World Space Receiver, a Television Set or a Cable Network.

Section 35 grants exclusivity to PPL to issue licenses to hotels/ pubs for playing music during the events in their premises, and 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 do.

PPL, incorporated in 1941, is the apex-licensing arm of the Indian Music Industry (IMI), and was formulated to administer the Broadcast, Telecast and Public Performance rights of its member companies.

Formerly known as Indian Phonographic Industry (IPI), PPL currently has 140+ member companies and is registered with the Registrar of Copyrights since 1996.


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