Barely a week before the opening ceremony of IPL 6 at Salt Lake Stadium in the city, the show — which is being headlined by US pop music sensations Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez, apart from Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif — has hit a major hitch, with the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) sending a notice to organiser Red Chillies Entertainment seeking payment for the songs that the stars are supposed to perform.
The bill has already been pruned to Rs. 23 lakh from Rs. 45 lakh, but intense haggling has broken out between the parties to lower it further.
“Red Chillies Entertainment isn’t ready to pay up even after the huge discount that we’ve offered,” Abhisekh Bose, IPRS regional chairman, told HT.
“We’re organising a programme that will run for 145 minutes. Out of this, Bollywood tracks will be played for 25 minutes. We have recorded the music for the rest of the programme. That’s why we’re negotiating the bill with IPRS,” a representative of Cineyug group of companies said. Red Chillies Entertainment has hired the group as the event manager for the opening ceremony.
The IPRS issues licences to users of music and collects royalties from them for, and on behalf of, its members. The organisation falls under the aegis of the ministry of human resources.
The law empowers the IPRS to move court and obtain an injunction on a programme until the licence fee is paid. During the 2012 Kolkata Fashion Week, IPRS forced the organisers to toe their line after the court upheld its rights. There is a second option too. The body can let the programme take place and then claim a huge amount as ‘demurrage’, or compensation.
Bose revealed that a reciprocal agreement between the copyright societies of most developed nations made it mandatory to charge organisers for performances in which the music of other nations was played. If an organiser is playing foreign, copyrighted music, a portion of this fee should be handed over to the copyright society of the nation concerned.
“We’ve heard that Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull are supposed to perform at the IPL 6 inaugural programme. How are we going to pay the US body when they approach us?” Bose asked.
According to the official programme schedule, Lopez and Pitbull are supposed to perform on April 2 at the Salt Lake Stadium. Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif will also take part in the programme. “We’re currently consulting our lawyers and senior members because we don’t have much time before finalising the next course of action,” Bose added, ending on an ominous note.