Comments (0)
News |  30 Dec 2010 15:16 |  By Ashish_Mitra

Film Industry defers Jan strike on Copyright Amendments

*Govt assurance of being committed �to principles and not personalities' convinced us, says Bhatt.

*We are ready to share royalties with concerned parties,  but cannot make them our partners:  T P Aggarwal, President – FFI

MUMBAI: Following an assurance that the Union Government was prepared to consider its demands on the Copyright amendments, the film industry has postponed the proposed all-India two-day strike scheduled from 6 January  The strike call was to protest against the proposed amendment to the Copyright Act that allows lyricists, music composers and writers to seek royalty for their services from film producers.

Filmmaker Mukesh Bhatt told a press meet here, Yesterday, we had a meeting with Ahmed Patel, secretary to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, and Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal. After the discussion we had with them, they issued a positive statement saying �the government is committed to principles and not personalities'....

 This changed our thought that the government was biased. For the first time in several years, we saw that the government was speaking positively. We are now hopeful that we would soon reach a consensus with lyricists, music composers and writers,... Bhatt said.

Bhatt added that on 22 December, the South Film Industry met Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi at Chennai and apprised him of the serious situation the film industry was in. It is possible that because of that meeting, the government's stance has turned positive. We will now sit with the concerned people and work out things in such a way that we both co-exist and survive,... Bhatt said.

Film Federation of India President T P Aggarwal added: We were not asking for any subsidy, nor were we asking for any other kind of favour. We were only seeking our legitimate right. The government has opened the door for negotiations. Seeing the positive note from the government's side, we have decided to postpone our bandh....

We are ready to share the royalties with the concerned parties but we can not make them our partners,... Aggarwal said.

Ramesh Sippy, President of The Film and Television Producers Guild, said, Since last year, we had an inkling that the government would come out with a law that may rob us of our legitimate right. Finding no solution in the already tense atmosphere, we were, till Tuesday, firm on going on strike, but the meeting gave us a clear indication that the issue between the producers on the one hand and the lyricists, music composers and writers on the other, would soon be resolved....

Asked why the producers were not willing to give a little more to lyricists, music composers and writers from their profits, Indian Motion Pictures Producers Association member Ashok Pandit said: They only talk about sharing the profits, why are they not talking of sharing our losses?  Look, around 95 per cent of our films are flopping....

The film industry is opposed to the proposed Copyright Amendment Bill 2010 that mandates producers to share 50 per cent music royalty with lyricists and composers. According to senior filmmaker L Suresh, the proposal would affect the selling of films to distributors and exhibitors.

Inputs from Bhushan Nagpal from New Delhi and Avani Bheda in Mumbai