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Copyright chaos

Producer Bhushan Kumar reveals the nitty-gritties around the Copyright Act and the woes of an investor.

music Updated: Aug 13, 2010 02:03 IST
Minakshi Saini

Producer Bhushan Kumar (left), like many other Bollywood investors, is waiting for the final hearing from the Human Resource and Development ministry on the Copyright Act. The act talks about the royalty issue between the music fraternity and filmmakers.

“The fight is over a small thing, but if it continues then we will not be able to call film fraternity as a family,” says Kumar of T-Series. The issue had been flared with lyricists and music-composers wanting a share of profit from the sale of music of a particular film. “Lyricists and composers are paid as per their work,” he says, revealing that an “A-grade lyricist takes R 4 lakh while a music director charges R 10-12 lakh” per song. “They manage to get R 25-30 lakh and R 80-90 lakh per film respectively,” he adds.

Kumar says that it costs around R 5 crore — which includes location, shooting, singer, music composer, lyricist and recording company’s fees — to produce the music of a film. “Even after spending that much, very few films become musical hits. So when we face losses, no one comes up. But if it works, then people are looking for royalty,” says Kumar.

Producers have even suggested that the singers, lyricists and composers do away with the signing amount and share just the royalties. “Else, it becomes impossible for producers,” laments Kumar, stating that the demanding parties must understand that no song becomes a hit with just a lyricist or music director. “Kajra re wouldn’t have been such a big hit without the Bachchans,” he says, pointing out that the singers and composers also make many out of live shows.

But lyricist Javed Akhtar is adamant. “No one is asking for a penny from the film’s profit. We are asking for our rights and dignity,” he says.