Radio channels to dicuss royalty issues with music industry

Radio channels to dicuss royalty issues with music industry


New Delhi: Differences between the Indian music industry and radio channels on royalty charges may go because both parties have agreed to resume discussion after their meeting with the ministry of information and broadcasting.

The ministry held a meeting on 12 December with the music and radio industries’ representatives, along with the registrar of copyrights and secretary, Human Resource Development, to initiate a fresh process for rationalizing music royalties for radio channels.

“In the meeting, it was agreed that the Indian Music Industry (IMI) and radio channels will start a fresh process for discussion of rationalizing music royalties for radio," IMI president Vijay Lazarus said.

The parties have also agreed that “sound recording rights" and “rights in musical/lyrical works" are separate and FM stations need licence for both, not complying with which would be deemed an infringement of copyright.

The row started with FM radio stations saying that steep royalties were eating into their earnings, particularly those of smaller stations, making the business unviable, while music companies rejected the charge.

The decision on royalties is now with the copyright board, which is yet to give its decision.

“FM broadcasters have reiterated (in the meeting) that exorbitant royalty fees are making the radio business unviable, especially in smaller cities," Association of Radio Operators for India president and Radio City 91.1 FM chief executive Apurva Purohit said.