New Delhi: The ministry of human resource development is amending the Copyright Act so that artists such as playback singers, lyricists and film directors can earn royalty each time their product is used in any media.
“The Bill is almost ready and would be placed before the cabinet in two weeks’ time and would be tabled in Parliament in the winter session,” a ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
In support: BJP leader Arun Jaitley. Hemant Mishra / Mint
The government has gained the the Opposition’s support for the Bill.
“I am of the view that none should have an opinion against such a change in the Copyright Act which would benefit the artists,” said Arun Jaitley, leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha. “But I have also received letters from the media houses who seem to be against any such move.”
“Though the regulatory framework in the country is quite artist-friendly now new media has emerged like ringtones or remixes that is not covered under these laws,” said singer Shubha Mudgal.
“An artist should have a say in case the song or creative property is modified. Also, the artist should be given a proper reasonable share for the property if it is being used for other purposes,” she added.
Broadcasters aren’t happy. Jawahar Goel, president, Indian Broadcasting Foundation, said: “Our main grudge with the issue is that the broadcasters were not consulted before any decision was taken. We have not been informed as to what parts of the Act are being modified and what the final outcome will be.”
Apurva Purohit, president, Association of Radio Operators for India, and chief executive of Radio City FM radio station, said: “This will be a draconian provision, which will completely wipe out the private FM radio stations.”