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News |  05 Apr 2013 08:45 PM | by Guest (not verified)

Indian Music Industry's fight against piracy continues

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MUMBAI: Even as the Indian Music Industry (IMI) continues to battle with piracy at different levels, there have been various ways in which the survival has grown in the past year. But while the action on internet piracy continues, the key challenge for marketers  has been to sell their product.

One of the key reasons for piracy is actually not the demand for a product but non-monetization of it. The challenge of a marketer has been to get him to pay for it. A number of business models are now being created not only in India, but across the world to actually address that.

Speaking with Radioandmusic.com, Indian Music Industry secretary general Savio D’Souza said, “Whether its iTunes or Spotify or MMX or Nokia; they are all putting efforts to actually monetize that segment. That has been the challenge for this year. It has seen exemplary action on internet piracy and it continues. A number of website have been shut down and there are court orders being implemented.”

The IMI has received court order to shut down another 162 websites on all 387 ISPs as part of the Phase II of its crackdown on internet piracy. While this was a far better effort on their part to track it down, the company is already in talks for a third phase which will be very intensive and on a larger scale.

"We have got the order from from the Calcutta High Court to shut down 162 websites on all 387 ISPs. It is currently being implemented. It has been a challenge for us but we are building capacity to shut down such websites. Last year we shut down around 104 and now its steadily increasing, so we are trying to work towards it in a big way," D’Souza added.

In 2012, IMI had obtained Mandatory Injunction Orders from the Calcutta High Court (dated 27 January, 6 February, 1 March & 2 March) directing 387 Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block 104 music copyright infringing websites within 36 hours of the date of the intimation.

Helping the same will be the national rollout of its Mobile Music Exchange (MMX) within the next two months. MMX has gradually been helping the IMI to curb piracy and conduct raids in a much mechanized way. This in turn has increased the number of raids implemented as compared to last year.

As per statistics provided by D’Souza, Andhra Pradesh saw a rise from 525 to 830 raids, Punjab from 195 to 337 raids, West Bengal witnessed a rise from 167 to 335 raids and in Tamil Nadu from 354 to 1100. So the total number of raids has increased from 1200 to 2700, which signifies that eight raids are being conducted on a daily basis.

“In terms of licensing too, the number of licenses has increased to over 3000. So it clearly says that things are looking up,” he mentioned.

Meanwhile, royalties in terms of public performances both in Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) and  Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS)  are also going up. This also brings to light, the recent cases where IPRS and PPL were accused of alleged irregularities in payment of royalties to artistes.

While the case is dragging on unceremoniously to bring out newer aspects, D’Souza clarified the act by stating that if an artiste has made a piece of work some years back, they got paid for it accordingly. Now if the prices are changing accordingly with the act, the artiste can’t come back and demand more money for that piece of work.

He added, “Javed Akhtar has a group of 35-40 artistes who claim to say that they are not getting royalty. But IPRS has around 1500 artistes including them. And those artistes have got their royalty in the past so there is no issue. I am not a spokesperson but I know Rakesh Nigam and I am sure that he would distribute it as per the norms.”