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FM Radio Stations Do Not Need to Pay Royalty to Composers and Lyricists


FM radio stations in India heaved a collective sigh of relief after the Bombay high court ruled that they do not have to pay separate royalty fees to music composers and lyricists for playing their songs on air.

Quite expectedly, the creative community is fuming mad at the court’s verdict.

Lyricist Javed Akhtar said at a media briefing that, “We will appeal in the Supreme Court against the order,”

The said media briefing was also attended by several Bollywood lyricists and composers, including Vishal Bhardwaj, Sameer, Loy Mendonca, Lalit Pandit and Ram Sampat.

According to the high court’s judgment, the Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) is not entitled to royalty or license fees from a private radio channel for songs and music it plays on the air. The IPRS is a body that safeguards the copyrights of composers and lyricists.

Because of the court’s decision, the FM stations will now only have to obtain the license to play the music from the Phonographic Performances Limited, a body that works on behalf of the music companies.

Akhtar added that the judgment contradicts internationally accepted norms of royalty.

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