Music licensing body, Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), has issued legal notices to more than 125 city hotels and pubs for not paying the mandatory music license fee to play music at year-end events.
The national licensing arm of the Indian Music Industry, PPL protects the broadcast, telecast and public performance rights of its member music companies.
"There is a special license that event organizers have to pay for the December 31 events, but there are some hostile companies who evade them," said Vipul Pradhan, chief executive officer of PPL.
PPL claimed to have issued notices to Hotel Renaissance and Convention Centre in Powai, Hotel Sea Princess in Juhu, Vie Lounge and Deck in Vile Parle and Ice n Spice in Navi Mumbai among others on Wednesday after they missed the December 20 deadline. "If they continue to pay no heed to the court order we may be forced to take strict steps to stop their events," said Pradhan. "The music firms... have a right towards claiming their due because their product is getting consumed too."
According to PPL, the amount of the license fee is determined by the duration of the event and the number of people expected. The amount could range from Rs 40,000 to Rs 2 lakh.
The owners of Ice n Spice lounge said they had not received a legal notice from PPL. "We were sent a bill from the PPL and we paid our annual license fee to them via pay order on Monday," said owner Ashish Shirke.
"If they had paid the fee they would not have been on our list," said Sowmya Chowdhury, country head for events at PPL.