'Obtain licence before playing music commercially'

 The Delhi High Court has barred a lounge bar in the national capital from playing recorded music without first obtaining a license from a body formed to protect the rights of artistes, an order that has been welcomed by a clutch of eminent playback singers.

IANS| Last Updated: Jan 02, 2015, 15:23 PM IST

Mumbai:  The Delhi High Court has barred a lounge bar in the national capital from playing recorded music without first obtaining a license from a body formed to protect the rights of artistes, an order that has been welcomed by a clutch of eminent playback singers.

"The law has been in force since 2012 but people felt it is not yet operative. The enforcement of the law is important and that is what we have now obtained from the court," Sanjay Tandon, who heads the Indian Singers' Rights Association (ISRA) said of the ruling earlier this week against the Night Fever Club & Lounge.

"We would, thus appeal to all users to now obtain an ISRA License and respect the contribution of the singers," Tandon added of the association's first legal victory after the Copyright Act was amended in 2012.

Under the Act, singers are now entitled to royalties if their works are played for commercial purposes. In line with this, ISRA has served notice on leading radio stations, TV channels and mobile networks, among others, asking them to obtain its license.

Quite naturally, the music fraternity is happy.

"I am glad that finally an important issue has taken shape and all singers will finally get their dues," singing legand Lata Mangeshkar said.

"We were fighting for our royalties and I am happy that ISRA has progressed in this direction," ghazal guru Pankaj Udhas said.

"I am sure many singers will now be able to run their houses with these royalties," the multifaceted Sonu Nigam said.

The association was formed as a not-for-profit campnay on May 3, 2013 thanks to the effort of veterans like Lata Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar, Suresh Wadkar, Gurdaas Mann, Pankaj Udhas, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, and Sonu Nigam, with support from Asha Bhosle, Shaan, Kunal Ganjawala, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mahalaxmi Iyer and many others.

The association today controls 95 percent of the rights of performers and counts among its members the Who's Who of singers from the four corners of the country. It is also affiliated to similar societies overseas.