RadioandMusic
| 12 Jul 2020
Javed Akhtar and Sanjay Tandon working towards forming a copyright society

MUMBAI: Javed Akhtar, who spearheaded the campaign for the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012 in India, will have yet another long journey ahead, albeit with the support of another campaigner and famous name in the music circuit- Sanjay Tandon. The two have taken on the responsibility, along with a few more acquaintances, to form a new 'copyright' society.

Commenting on the development, Tandon said, “After the ED investigation came to light, we believe that there is no way the IPRS (Indian Performing Rights Society) will come out clean.” The Enforcement Directorate (ED), under the administrative control of Department of Revenue, attached investments worth Rs 70.17 crore of the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) after allegations of money laundering.

However, a week before the investigation, Akhtar and Tandon started preparing to start a copyright society for musicians and composers, which will collect royalties on behalf of the rights-holders. Tandon added, “We are on that job to register a new society based on the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012.”

According to the Act, the business of issuing or granting licenses is in respect of literary, cinematic, musical and artistic works incorporated in a cinematograph films or sound recordings, shall be carried out only through a copyright society duly registered. As per the Act, “every copyright society shall have a governing body with such a number of persons elected from among the members of the society consisting of equal number of authors and owners of work for the purpose of the administration of the society as may be specified.” Furthermore, all members of copyrights society shall enjoy equal membership rights and there shall be no discrimination between authors and owners of rights in the distribution of royalties.

The society will be formed for a period of five years, after which it has to be renewed from time to time, before the end of every five years on a request in the prescribed form, and the Central Government may renew the registration after considering the report of Registrar of Copyrights on the working of the copyright society. “The society will be based on the new Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012,” Tandon, CEO of Music Composers Association of India (MCAI) and Singer’s Association of India (SAI) told Radioandmusic.com. “The new society will be a model society and we will adhere to the Copyright Act 2012. Under that anyone who wants to join can join.”

The new society will be primarily for composers and musicians, and if labels would like to join the new society, Tandon said “we are ready to welcome anyone who approaches the new society even if it is a label.”

The former society, which is now a company (IPRS) that is entitled as the ‘owners of rights’ as stated by CEO of IPRS Rakesh Nigam, during his last interview with Radioandmusic.com, was asked to re-register themselves as a society within a period of one year from the date of commencement of the Copyright (Amendment)Act,2012. 

However, failing to that, today, India does not have a Copyright Society. Tandon added, “We do not have a Copyright Society as per the Act and Javed Saheb and I, are working towards making it happen, with a new society.” 

He also claimed that he does not look at heading the society as he will only be using his experience to set-up the society. Tandon is also working towards making it happen as quickly as possible without revealing any time-frame for the same.