Imagine grooving at a New Year’s eve party without the most popular songs of the year. Now, that may well be case.
On Wednesday night, over 60 clubs and bars in Delhi were served a legal notice, demanding that they acquire the necessary rights before deciding their playlist.
According to the Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) — an organisation that administers the public performance and broadcasting rights for over 160 music labels in India — venues need to pay them a music licence fee of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 3 lakh. Among the popular nightspots that have been served a notice are Yum Yum Tree (New Friends Colony), Tabula Rasa (Saket), Blanco (Khan Market) and Urban Pind (GK I). “The notice is backed by the Delhi High Court. This is to ensure the music labels and musicians get their due,” says Sowmya Chowdhury of PPL. Not only that, tonight, a 50-man task force will be on the prowl to crack down on defaulters.
However, there are some who feel the PPL is playing party pooper. “They scare people into paying up. We’ve already payed for a licence but they still sent notices. They always turn up two-three days before New Year’s eve,” says Sohrab Sitaram of Tabula Rasa. “They know we can’t have a party without popular songs, so they harass us,” says Navneet Kalra of Blanco. Even as both parties rush to resolve matters, city revellers are worried their parties will be damp squibs. “If all popular labels are banned, what will we dance to — folk music?” says Nayan Saha, 25. “Whoever is to blame, don’t spoil my party!” says Sushant Gupta, 24.