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Last Updated 23.10.2019 | 4:52 PM IST
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“It’s a step backward for copyright owners” – Neeraj Kalyan

Neeraj Kalyan, President Super Cassettes Industries Ltd a.k.a T-Series speaks about the Copyright Bill Amendment passed by the Lok Sabha.

Few sections of the film and music fraternity may be rejoicing with the passage of the controversial bill but they will soon realize that it’s Sum Zero game for all. In fact it’s a step backward for all the copyright owners because freedom to trade has been withdrawn in a very discriminating manner. While, the amendments on the one side are ensuring royalties for the authors but on the other side, the bill has restricted revenues for copyright owners and authors by extending Statutory Licensing to the broadcasting sector. The Govt. has really erred in judging the Statutory Licensing provisions and it could also find India in breach of its international obligations, as it represents an overly broad limitation on exclusive rights.

We are really surprised to note that none of our Hon’ble Parliamentarians raised this blatant mistake and un-justice in their zeal to safeguard the interest of the authors and composers. By passing the amendments related to Statutory Licensing without even a debate, the entire concept of exclusivity of control of copyright in the owner/author as guaranteed by the act has been defeated and the economic rights that it seeks to provide shall be unfairly withdrawn.

This unconsidered intervention by State in existing free market arrangements and free market structures may have highly unpredictable negative consequences for film & music industry. The new regime of ‘Statutory Licensing’ to broadcasters appears to be discriminating against the copyright owners /authors / composers as it will grossly disturb the equilibrium in favour of such broadcaster that are managed and controlled by large media conglomerates with cross holdings by profit making bodies who only wish to enlarge their profits at the cost of survival of authors, composers, producers and music labels. While there is no control over costs incurred in producing or acquiring copyrights by Film & Music industry, the bill has imposed unwarranted restrictions on the film and music industry to negotiate a fair license fee for usage of its copyrighted works by broadcasters while the same broadcasters are free to charge advertising rates at their own free will. Is it Fair…

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