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₹2,500cr of music royalty under Enforcement Directorate scanner

mumbai Updated: Nov 08, 2017 11:20 IST
Pratik Salunke
Pratik Salunke
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,Enforcement Directorate,Indian Performing Right Society

The first information report (FIR) was filed based on a complaint filed by popular Hindustani classical singer Shubha Mudgal. (HT File)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday said royalty to the tune of Rs2,500 crore is under scanner in a money laundering case registered against the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) and the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). The agency said the amount may be higher as they are yet to look into the records of three music companies.

The IPRS and PPL have been booked by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi police for allegedly not paying royalty to lyricists and composers. The first information report (FIR) was filed based on a complaint filed by popular Hindustani classical singer Shubha Mudgal. The IPRS and PPL are responsible for collecting royalties meant for lyricists and composers from various platforms.

“The records scanned by us since 2012 show that royalties of around Rs2,500 crore were collected by two music companies alone and the number will rise as we are investigating other music companies as well,” said a high-ranking ED officer, privy to the investigation, who did not wish to be named.

The ED is probing the financial trail as it suspects that money was laundered after registering a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. ED sources say a large amount of money had been amassed by music companies as royalty in the guise of licence fees, service charges, etc by claiming to be sole and exclusive owners of the rights.

As per the amendment in the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012, 50% of the royalty collected by music companies must be given to lyricist and composers. “The lyricists and composers were at the mercy of the big music companies. The law accords them equal share which was not given to them,” said the officer.

The agency is likely to freeze the companies’ accounts. The Mumbai zonal office will record statements of the heads of five music companies this week.

First Published: Nov 08, 2017 11:20 IST