Rejoicing the new right

Rejoicing the new right

Elated Creativity

Rejoicing the new right

The passage of the Copyright Act (Amendment) Bill has brought smiles along with a secured future on the faces of creative individuals such as singers, music composers, lyricists, screen-writers and performers, while upsetting producers.

The new Bill, passed in the last session of Parliament after the struggle of two years, entitles artistes to share profits as lifelong royalty for their creations with music companies and producers.

Artistes are rejoicing at this big positive change as it will ensure recognition of their work at national and international level along with assuring them financial security for them and their families.

Shantanu Moitra, who has composed music for films like Parineeta, Lage Raho Munnabhai and 3 Idiots, says more than the financial benefit it is a matter of pride for the artistes who never got recognition even if their creations were superhits.

“When there is an international collaboration, their contribution too will be acknowled­g­ed too now. Besides, the next generation will be benefited more with this law. Such as my son. If my songs keep playing on TV and radio for years, he will be benefited,” Shantanu shares with Metrolife.

The struggle for the passage of the Bill was led by lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar, who has been  fighting for law in favour of lyricists, singers and other creative persons so that they get their share of royalty and do not have to spend their later years in penury.

The Bill makes it mandatory for broadcasters to pay royalty to the owners of the copyright each time a work of art is broadcast.

Hailing the passage of the law and thanking Javed Akhtar for it, lyricist Sameer Sen says it is ‘better late than never’. He says now unlike some old singers and music directors, who were deprived of their dues by produces, will not have to beg for acknowledgement.

“Old songs created decades ago are still very popular but the songs’ lyricists, music directors and their families are struggling to manage a basic living today. An example of this is the late Khemchand Prakash, who composed for the Madhubala-Ashok Kumar superhit Mahal.

Its song Aayega Aane Wala is still played on many channels and radio stations but his wife is living in very poor conditions, while Lataji still takes royalty for this song. Thanks to this law, the next generation artistes will not have to go through the same,” says Sameer.

Singer Ila Arun, who has to her credit popular numbers like Choli ke Peeche (along with Alka Yagnik) from Khalnayak and Morni baagha ma (with Lata Mangeshkar) from Lamhe says, “Producers come to us several times and say that they have a limited budget.

Singers out of mercy or politeness agree to sing at little or no price. But when film or the music does well, they aren’t willing to share the profit. If the work is selling, then they must also have a share. Now this law will ensure it. Those who have done and do more work, will be benefited more.”

However upset they may be, producers say that they hail the new law as lifelong royalty to artistes was never an issue. Kulmeet Makkar, Chief Executive Officer, The Film & TV Producers Guild of India, says, “For us, royalty was never an issue.

If there is a good creation, the artistes must be recognised financially and aesthetically. Now that a more structured law has come, we are in talks with authors, singers and other to streamline it.”