Mumbai

Music rights company welcomes Bombay High Court order on compliance

Court has restricted restaurants from playing popular songs without paying the fee and acquiring a licence

The Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) on Monday welcomed a recent order by the Bombay High Court (HC), saying it would help make people aware of the importance of paying compliance fees in exchange for playing songs in commercial establishments.

In response to a petition filed by PPL, the HC had on November 27 passed an interim order, restricting restaurants, pubs, hotels, cafés and resorts across the country from playing popular songs, which had a copyright, without making payment to PPL and getting a copyright licence from them.

The record-based institution pleaded with the Bombay High Court to get an extension of similar orders passed in December 2018. The recent court order assumes greater significance in view of the forthcoming festive celebrations, as according to PPL, the order applies to all usage of music including the ones being played in public places on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

“The compliance we ask them to pay us is simple and tariffs are rationalised. They range from ₹300 a month to ₹5,000 in case of events. We are a very music-friendly country and use it to both celebrate and mourn. A lot of the times we are not compensated for the commercial use of the music whose rights we hold. This is why in the past few years we have tried to make the compensation procedure easy by engaging with users and making the process of using the music simplified,” said Rajat Kakar, managing director of PPL India, at a press conference on Monday.

Describing the mechanism in place for paying the compliance fee, Mr. Kakar said the commercial establishment has to only contact the sales representative through a website, who will send them a proposal. After that, they can pay and get a licence in minutes.

He also said there were only 600 companies that have not been paying compliances. The court order, according to him, will help make the few disgruntled people aware.

“A lot of the time, when a certain popular song in a store is played, people stick around for long, which is why their sales indirectly or directly go up. Taking this into consideration, one can agree the songs are made popular by the relentless marketing the music companies practise, which is why they should earn their full value,” Mr. Kakar said.

PPL India is a 78-year-old performance rights organisation that handles public performance rights for 340 music labels with over 3 million sound records domestically and internationally in Hindi, English and other Indian languages including Saregama, Super Cassettes and Universal Music.

Justice R.D. Dhanuka, in the interim order, has placed this matter for hearing and final disposal on January 28, 2020.

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 1:19:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/music-rights-company-welcomes-hc-order-on-compliance/article30384226.ece

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