With the amendment in the Copyright Act, 1957, giving birth to a new law ‘Performer's Right’, from June 21, 2012, a copyright collection society, Indian Singers' Rights Association (ISRA) has been formed to collect and distribute royalties to singers all over the country.
Singers can claim royalties from all radio stations, digital platforms, television channels and from all sectors using their songs for commercial purpose.
Although ISRA will first hold an annual general meeting to discuss the tariff rates for different platforms, they are happy for their first victory.
“The formation of ISRA in itself is a big victory for all the singers fighting for their rights. Though the royalty for all singers would be equal, the rates will differ for radio stations, television channels etc depending on the money they are making from the songs,” says Sanjay Tandon,managing director , ISRA.
Sonu Niggaam, who has been an integral part of the association, believes that the implementation of issuing royalties will give financial security to all. “ISRA will keep a tab on the money generated through a singer's song at various platforms and will subsequently charge and distribute the royalties to us,” says Niggaam.
When questioned if this association has been formed in a time when singers face difficulties in winning many projects, singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya said: "Singers are the most blessed community. We are never jobless. But after a certain age, one cannot expect us to sing very frequently. This is the time when royalties will be our source of income. More importantly, royalties for our work is our right."
The press conference to announce the formation of ISRA was attended by singers Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Kailash Kher, Hariharan, Javed Ali, Pankaj Udhas, Udit Narayan and Shaan among others.