KOCHI: The first meeting of the Kerala Chapter of the Indian Singers’ Rights Association (ISRA) held here on Thursday decided to intensify its efforts to claim royalty amount for singers in the event of their songs being used for commercial purposes. According to ISRA representatives, claim letters have been sent to TV channels, FM radio stations, sporting event organisers and new media in this regard. “We are looking for an amicable solution. If we fail to arrive at a consensus with them, we will go ahead with legal proceedings,” said ISRA CEO Sanjay Tandon. At present, there are 328 members in ISRA.
Earlier, many singers, including K J Yesudas, had demanded royalty for playing or recreating the songs rendered by them for commercial purposes. However, at that time, the rights of the songs were vested with the composer and the producer. Following the amendment of the Copyright Act 1957 (14 of 1957) in 2012, singers were accorded a Special Right to be known as the ‘Performer’s Right’.
According to the amended Act, a singer — as a performer — shall be entitled to royalties in case of using the songs for commercial purpose. To be able to collect such royalties, Section 33 of the Act requires that any organisation which wants to commence or carry on the business of issuing or granting licences with regard to a singer’s performance has to get itself registered with the Central Government, according to ISRA.
According to them, they have not specified a particular amount as royalty. “For instance, if a song is played at an IPL venue, it is featured in front of thousands of spectators. Then the organisers will have to give `1 per person as royalty. However, ISRA is not demanding royalty if a contestant is singing the song in a talent show. Our demand for royalty will be applicable only if the original song is played for commercial entertainment,” clarified ISRA.
Along with ISRA directors Sreenivas and G Venugopal, singers P Jayachandran, Afsal, Madhu Balakrishnan, Biju Narayanan, Vidhu Pratap, Pradeep Palluruthy, Sudeep Kumar, Arun Alat, Pradeep Babu, Reju Joseph, Smitha Rajagopal, Pushpalatha, Renjith Unni, Ganesh Sundaram, Alex, Uday Ramachandran, Akhila, Saritha Ram, Chithra Arun, Jyothsna, Renjini Jose, Baby Sreya, Ramesh Babu, Sangeetha Sreekanth, Prakash Babu and Vipin Xavier attended the meeting.