Kannada TV channels may have to face the music

Kannada TV channels may have to face the music

Audio companies claim share in revenue from song-based shows

The companies are also thinking of moving the court for their share. Audio recording companies in Bollywood are already getting share in the revenue.
Kannada channels are banking upon reality shows for high TRP (television rating points). All eight Kannada entertainment channels broadcast music-based reality shows and call them platforms for budding talents. They hire popular singers, music directors on the jury.
Rights of songs rendered by the participants are in possession of various audio recording companies. Any song involves three components - literary work, musical composition and sound recording. Audio recording companies purchase rights of literary work and musical composition from film producers and release audio cassettes into market.
They argue that as per the Section 2(ff) of Copyright Act 1957 communicating a literary or musical work or sound recording to the public by any means including satellite TV without a licence from the owner of the rights is impinging on rights of the owner.

Legal notice
Lahari Recording Company (LRC) has already served a legal notice on all Kannada channels. Velu of the company said in the Hindi entertainment industry audio companies were already getting revenue. Even in the Kannada industry, FM radio channels give royalty to audio companies on monthly basis. Velu said his company alone gets Rs 25 lakh a month from FM radio channels.
Velu said recording companies demand 33 per cent of the revenue earned by the channels through songs-based programmes. “I sent the notices to all channels on July 9 this year. So far, nobody has responded. I will wait for another two weeks and move the court”, he said. He contends that there has been a dip in sales of audio cassettes as the number of song-based programmes increased in TV channels.

No clarity
However, Raghavendra Hunsur, producer of Star Singer 2, a reality show in Suvarna Channel does not approve Velu’s argument. He said that there was no clarity regarding ownership of the rights. Along with audio companies music composer and lyricist own equal rights. First, there should be clarity on the issue.
“No Kannada channel uses Kannada songs directly on their show. No show will make money just because of film songs. Each show involves musicians, music directors on the jury, settings and emotions of participants. All these factors bring viewership,” he said.
The issue can be resolved amicably through a healthy debate as serving notices and emails to the channels will not serve the purpose, says Raghavendra.

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