On World Music Day, 21 June, Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) has introduced the #Credit scoreTheWriter social media marketing campaign, the place its quite a lot of illustrious individuals will take part in periods throughout two weeks: to unfold consciousness in regards to the creators of a number of valuable melodies and debunk misconceptions in regards to the rights of performers.

When this author reached out to Javed Akhtar, Chariman, IPRS, for an interplay, it to start with gave the impression tricky for the reason that lyricist is recently hanging up at his Khandala assets. The faraway location does no longer be offering get entry to to sound community so he’s slightly managing to offer interviews for his most up-to-date fulfillment — being honoured with the Richard Dawkins Award.

Javed Akhtar. Twitter

But Akhtar used to be sort sufficient to ship solutions to my questions via audio notes. And his spouse, veteran actress Shabana Azmi, used to be beneficiant sufficient to invite questions about my behalf — and prod every time vital.

Do you consider India is historically a hero/protagonist-driven type of storytelling, and no longer an author-driven? For example, Rama is a lot more standard than Valmiki versus say, Shakespeare than Hamlet within the West?

It’s utterly comprehensible. You watch theatre, simplest in case you are a gourmet, or have a deep figuring out about literature. But cinema is for mass conversation. Not too many of us are accustomed to literature or its worth. When they see an actor at the display who they respect, they determine the entire movie with that face. But now, individuals are acknowledging the opposite stakeholders like writers, administrators, cinematographers and so on.

What do you purpose to succeed in with the #Credit scoreTheWriter marketing campaign?

The concept is that the younger era will have to know in regards to the nice performers of the day gone by, what contribution they have made to standard song, what is their id, USP, and the way they experimented with song. For instance, there’s a normal affect that fusion song used to be began within the 1960s submit Woodstock (song competition held in Bethel, New York in 1969). But if you happen to concentrate to the song of Pankaj Male and Anil Biswas, they have been growing fusion within the ’30s and ’40s. They’d take a natural Indian raga, and deal with it with piano, cello, double burst, and violin. In positive songs which can be in line with Indian ragas, they’ve sounds of the choir additionally.

In the age of social media, the place covers of previous songs are so standard, what do the artists and target market want to bear in mind with recognize to appearing rights?

We’ll want any other legislation by means of the federal government for that. Songs from the 1950s, ’60s, and 70s are our cultural heritage. The ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) will have to see to it that those ‘monuments’ don’t seem to be vandalised. The songs by means of SD Burman, Naushad, Anil Biswas, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar or Asha Bhonsle are our cultural heritage. They will have to be secure.

In the identify of the ‘remix’ of the track, they are distorted. They take the preferred hook traces of the track, and put grammatically, aesthetically, technically flawed phrases within the new model, which distorts the track totally. I’m very unsatisfied with what is being completed to our musical cultural heritage.

Is the theory in the back of this marketing campaign, and the long-term purpose of IPRS, to be sure that no longer simplest the longer term direction is altered but additionally ancient inaccuracies are corrected?

Obviously, while you admire the introduction, you should admire the writer additionally. Give due recognize and due credit score to them.

(At this level, Azmi follows up with a move query)

No, however what do you imply by means of those ancient corrections?

When you concentrate to a track, you do not recognise the writer, or recognise the singer on the maximum. The younger era would possibly not even recognise a singer from the 1940s and ’50s. They will have to find out about composers like OP Nayyar, Madan Mohan or Roshan or lyricists like Sahir Ludhianvi and Shailendra, who have completed some nice paintings.

(Azmi prods additional —)

No, however how do you propose to do it? You say those corrections will have to be made, however how?

Any data nowadays is a click on of a button away. So if you happen to sensitise them and convey their consideration to the details, they will to find it themselves. That may not be an issue.

As a results of the coronavirus outbreak, a large number of artists are turning to digital live shows. Are the ones more uncomplicated to watch relating to appearing rights since there’s a document of each and every efficiency on-line?

I guess so. But it is a subject of time that are living presentations will come again. Yes, there was some issues that you just ask your IPRS consultant to discuss with the person, and most likely get into a controversy in regards to the royalties, however now, the entirety is on-line. If there is a are living display, the organisers desire a license or permission, they may be able to download it on-line. So there may not be any alternate of money. If any individual wishes the license for a are living efficiency, they may be able to move on our web site, take a look at the quite a lot of charges, they are particularly reasonable. So all the procedure can be performed in a transparent and clear approach.

Javed Akhtar

Javed Akhtar. Facebook

On what fronts has the IPRS noticed growth through the years? What stay key spaces of construction?

When we joined the IPRS governing board, the yearly assortment used to be Rs 35 crore to Rs 45 crore. But now, this 12 months, it used to be virtually Rs 160 crore, and it is nonetheless rising. We have higher contracts in position. After the trade within the legislation [the Copyright (Amendement) Law, 2012, which brought Indian copyright law into compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organisation, Internet Treaties), we have signed agreement with various international organisations.

They haven’t only signed on the dotted line but also agreed to pay us retrospectively since the amendment in 2012. The royalty is increasing manifold. As a result, an artist who used to get a meager amount annually is getting a sizeable amount quarterly now. We have to still develop better connectivity. There are some important music companies that are still not under the realm of the law. Once those are also brought in, our royalties will take another big leap.

There is currently a growing debate around the exploitation of aspiring artists by big production houses and music companies. How do you plan to keep a check on them?

If the law has saved the rights of the royalty of the artists, the corporate giants can’t exploit them on that front. The right to royalty for the composer and the lyricist can’t be taken away. Any contract stating otherwise is null and void in the eyes of the law. See, royalty is different from your price. Your price may depend on your popularity but the royalty is guarded by the law. Any company, however big it may be, can’t take away your right to royalty.

Do you get royalties for your the songs you write for Farhan and Zoya’s films? Can Excel Entertainment and Tiger Baby Films set an example in the industry for respecting performing rights?

There’s a misunderstanding. It isn’t the producer or the music company that gives the royalty. It’s given to the IPRS by the end user. Suppose the song is played on a radio station, TV or website, they have to pay royalty to the artists. They take it to the public domain.

(Azmi chimes in —) 

But how do you track that?

There are a lot of software for that. We have an agreement with a number of companies, like a huge one in Canada called Sukam. They keep an eye through computer programmes. Even if your song is played for 10 seconds, it’ll be registered.

(Azmi digs deeper —)

What if it’s a live performance?

We have an IPRS representative in almost every city. If it’s a live performance, it’ll be publicised. There’ll be ads. So we come to know.

But what if it’s a live performance, say at a wedding?

As per the current law of the country, if a song is played at a wedding, there’s no royalty for that.

What if it’s a mehfil, a private function with about 100 people?

Then it’s okay. If it’s not for commercial use, we don’t mind (laughs).


Published Date: Jun 21, 2020 09:04 AM
| Updated Date: Jun 21, 2020 09:04 AM


Updated Date: Jun 21, 2020 09:04:02 IST


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