Centre to upgrade copyright laws for B'wood

Centre to upgrade copyright laws for B'wood

Renowned artistes met to welcome the Government's initiative.

Somen Mishra
  • Last Updated: December 29, 2009, 1:20 AM IST
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Mumbai: It's a move that may well change India's outdated copyright laws.

Music composer Vishal Dadlani said, "Everytime we (Vishal-Shekhar) perform on the songs that we compose, in the current situation, we have to pay for it and that's quite disgraceful."

He says this happens because that is the way Bollywood works - where most artistes don't have copyright on their own creations.

On Monday, renowned lyricists and music composers met to welcome the Government's initiative to help artistes retain a right over their creations. Several artistes including veterans like Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, Jagjit Singh and Javed Akhtar came together to thank the Government for its proposal to amend the existing copyright law.

Lyricist Javed Akhtar said, "We met HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and he was sympathetic to us. He has promised us that he will look into the matter and will do whatever can be done within the legal framework."

As per the current law, music directors and lyricists do not have any right on the revenue earned by producers and music companies through new media - such as the Internet or mobile ringtones. The proposed bill will cover copyright issues beyond Bollywood music and that's exciting news for artistes.

Instrumentalist, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma said, "When I started recording, there was only one company and so we signed on the dotted line. artistes had no say. Later on other companies also came up and they did the same, more or less. Because there is no proper system and as artistes we don't always have a lawyer by our side - we are busy with our music, with compositions - there has been lot of exploitation."

The absence of a unified voice among musicians and lyricists has also been a reason for the lack of any action on this issue till date. However, it seems that things are changing for the better now.

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