As music composers and lyricists rejoice over the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010, which gives them a share of the profits from songs that are sold as caller tunes, jingles for ads and performed at stage shows, music companies who will have to part with those profits are threatening to block the Bill.
The Bill, which amends the Copyright Act, 1957, aims to give music directors and lyricists a share in the revenue that their songs earn outside film and recordings. It has been passed by the Rajya Sabha and will now be presented to the Lok Sabha before it becomes a law.
“This gives music directors and lyricists the right to claim royalty when a song is exploited outside the film,” explains writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar who, as a Member of Parliament, has been fighting for this for the last two years.
Several well known artistes from the music fraternity in the past have died in penury because while the songs they created continued to earn profits for music companies, the creators of those songs earned nothing from them once the songs were sold to those music labels.
Simply, explains Akhtar, when a music label buys the rights to a film’s music, it can keep all the profits from those songs. If this amendment is passed however, music labels that profit by exploiting the songs beyond films, will have to pay the composers and lyricists 12 ½ per cent each of that profit as royalty.
But the music labels are opposed to this amendment.