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News |  23 Jul 2009 14:47 |  By AnitaIyer

Court gets Chennai Live to pay up on royalty issue

MUMBAI: Muthoot Group's radio venture Chennai Live 104.8 FM has been furnishing a bank guarantee of Rs 3,00,000 before the Chennai high court from March 2009. The radio station that operates only in Chennai is liable to submit the guarantee as a result of a legal tussle with (Indian Music Industry) IMI's licensing arm- IPRS (The Indian Performing Right Society) 

IPRS had late last year taken Chennai Live to court for non payment of the requisite royalty fees. In a court proceeding dated 3 March 2009, the court directed Chennai Live to produce a bank guarantee at the rate of Rs 3,00,000 per month form March 2009. Apart form this, the radio station has also been asked to file a log of the songs broadcast on the station from March 2009 by way of an affidavit once in a fortnight before the court.

The court also directed Chennai Live to take out an application to bring Phonographic Perfomances Limited (PPL) as a party to the proceedings so as to have their views as to what is the right that has been given on license to the petitioner 

Chennai Live station head Prem Kumar says, We have been fighting the case since last year as the idea of paying Rs 660 per needle hour to two different licensing arms of IMI- IPRS and PPL (Phonographic performance Ltd) seems absurd. It becomes a non-profitable model for FM operators if we have to shell out different fee structures for these licensing arms individually....

IPRS CEO Rakesh Nigam comments, We have been asking the Muthoot Group to acquire IPRS license since the time they started broadcast one year back. It is unreasonable of them to question our right to collect royalty when other radio operators are paying the requisite fee....

Referring to the bank guarantee, Prem Kumar adds, We are honouring the judgment passed by the court in the interim and we have been depositing Rs 3,00,000 from March 2009. The radio industry has been fighting on the royalty front but no decision has been arrived....

Nigam concludes, The last court judgment in March was in our favour where Chennai Live was asked to submit bank guarantee every month. The next hearing is tentatively in the month of August....

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