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News |  17 Jul 2009 13:53 |  By AnitaIyer

Copyright Board to start royalty hearings from 28 July

MUMBAI: The Copyright Board will commence hearings on the ongoing tussle over music royalties between the radio and music industries from 28 July. The copyright Board had earlier this year asked both the fraternities to file evidences supporting their stand on the royalty issue   

The radio industry was supposed to submit their evidences till 31 March and received an extension till 15 April. Radio operators representing AROI ,including My FM, Radio Tadka, Radio Mantra, Radio City, Radio Mirchi and Radio One individually submitted their affidavits before the Board, say sources.

On the other hand, the music industry was supposed to file evidence and supporting documents till 26 May and the Copyright Board extended it till 30 June. But AROI sources mention that the board hasn't received any submissions from the music industry yet.

According to Rahul Gupta, head of Association of Radio Operators of India's committee on music royalty, the radio fraternity is looking for a relief on their impending issue with the music industry. He says, The radio industry submitted their evidences by individual radio operators and we are looking ahead to a solution proposing fair music royalty rate for the radio industry. We want to pay fairly on par with the international standards and concentrate on running our business rather than worrying about the royalties....

The radio industry is also questioning the authority of IMI's licensing arm, the IPRS, in collecting the royalties. The radio industry has demanded that the licensing bodies collect a unified fair royalty fee and then split it among themselves.

PPL CEO Vipul Pradhan says, On the music front, the licensing bodies have submitted the evidences. The issue has be unresolved since both the parties could not come on mutual consensus and it is better that the third party, being the court of law is stepping in to solve the issue. The issue would be up for discussion from 28 July and both he parties will abide the outcome by the Copyright Board....

The Copyright board was authorised to decide on the royalty rates for the industry according to the Supreme Court of India judgement dated May 16, 2008.