Thursday, 7 April 2011

Relief for FM broadcasters on music royalty payment

The 30-odd private FM radio broadcasters felt great relief when the Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted the stay on the Copyright Board order of August 2010 and asked the Madras High Court to dispose the matter in next two months.
This means the FM radio broadcasters will pay the royalty to the music firms at the rate of 2% of their net advertising revenue.
Last month, the apex court had stayed the Copyright Board order after it was opposed by the music industry including the Phonographic Performance, a firm that collects the music royalties from FM radio broadcasters among others. According to the Copyright Board order, the 2% royalty was to be proportionately divided between all parties. But the Phonographic Performance argued that many voluntary licencees are paying between R500 to R900 per hour of broadcast as compared to R600 paid by AIR per hour of broadcast. It argued that both the rates are more than the rate fixed as per the Copyright Board’s order of 2% of the advertising revenue. A bench headed by justice Altamas Kabir while disposing the matter on Tuesday asked the Madras High Court to decide the issue within two months.
Entertainment Network (India) Limited (ENIL) had earlier approached the apex court in a dispute with various music copyright owners, over rate of royalty paid for broadcasting music. ENIL has sought transfer of all cases pending in different high courts on the same issue.


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