New Delhi: The new regime for FM radio station royalties to music companies will continue for now after the Supreme Court refused to stay a judgment of the Copyright Board that was issued on 25 August 2010.
A long-standing dispute between a consortium of music companies (Phonographic Performance Ltd.) and radio stations resulted in the Copyright Board ushering in a new system by which radio stations pay a 2% royalty to the consortium based on the net advertising revenue generated at each station. Previously all stations paid a fixed rate royalty of Rs 662 per needle hour across cities. Now, stations in different cities pay rates differently, with Delhi and Mumbai leading at around Rs 1900-2000 per needle hour for a premier station, said a person familiar with the matter.
The Copyright Board’s judgment is primarily being challenged in the Madras high court by the music company consortium, and an interim referral was made to the Supreme Court, which had stayed the operation of the new royalty regime on 18 March 2011. However, the court vacated it’s own stay order on Tuesday implying that the new regime would continue.
The Madras high court was directed to finish hearing the appeal within two months from Tuesday.