Apart from their usual fee, artistes such as music director AR Rehman and lyricist Gulzar will soon get extra fees whenever their songs are played. This was ensured when Rajya Sabha passed the much-awaited amendments to the Copyright Act on Thursday.
The amendments were already passed in Lok Sabha.The highlight of the discussion on the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010, however, were arguments raised by two Hindi film icons — lyricist Javed Akhtar and actor Jaya Bachchan.
In his maiden speech, Akhtar listed the names of music icons in the country — including Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma — who had strongly supported the bill. “Jagjit Singh and Ravi (a Bollywood music director) died even as they waited for the passage of this bill,” Akhtar said.
He also pointed out how companies have control over the songs, and singers and lyricists get just a small slice of the pie when their creations become a commercial success.
“Music companies dictate terms even to noted musicians such as AR Rahman and others,” Akhtar said.
Bachchan, a member of the Samjwadi Party, stressed on a share for everyone associated with the making of a film song. She also sought steps to stop rampant piracy — a major source of revenue loss for producers as well as artistes.
HRD minister Kapil Sibal assured the House that the issue of piracy would be addressed in the bill, and Internet piracy would be punishable under a new law.