After rigorous discussions and negotiations for five years by the copyright society, Indian Singers’ Rights Association (ISRA) finally succeeded in claiming the first royalty amount for Indian musicians. The government body received approximately Rs 52 lakh which was distributed to 730 singers from the industry.
Thrilled to have received royalties for the musicians, Sanjay Tandon, co-founder of ISRA, stated,
“Finally, we ISRA and I have completed one cycle. There are many laws in our country, then there are those who follow and don’t is a different matter. But, I am happy that the law is now with the artists and the judiciary has also recognised that by giving two judgements in our favour which states that when the songs are being commercially exploited, the royalty is to be paid to ISRA.”
The association has been fighting for the royalty rights since 2013, while the landmark amendment in the Copyright Act of 1957, ‘Performer’s Right’ came into effect in June 2012. “I am glad that as ISRA, we have established the infrastructure, we have collected the money and distributed it which is utmost important. We are delighted, though, it is 51 lakhs this year (read 2016-17) that is because the radio stations, television stations and the internet have not paid us yet which is sad,” Tandon explained.
The association took on the battle with all those who have been commercially using the songs including music labels and other entities. Committed to getting the others on board, Sanjay added, “Anyway, all I can say is we will give them a fair chance to understand it then discuss or negotiate it. However, if someone is being stubborn about it, then, of course, I will take them to court. We are determined to get the royalties from the biggies.”