Over the last few years, artists have become more aware about their right to royalties. In our earlier article we explained about how the lack of music publishing knowledge is robbing artists of their royalties. In India, the Indian Performance Rights Society (IPRS), is the sole authorised body to issue licences for usage of musical works and literary music. It collects royalties from music users, for and on behalf of IPRS’ members i.e. authors, composers and publishers of music. Royalty collected is distributed amongst members after deducting IPRS’ administrative costs.
To gain an insight about the functioning of IPRS and address concerns that the artists might have, we spoke to Rakesh Nigam, CEO, IPRS.
Please explain the functioning of IPRS
People are blissfully unaware about what IPRS is, its role and how it functions. They think IPRS functions the way it wants, pays ad-hoc royalty but it is not true. We follow a laid down system, distribution policy, which the members approve of in the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and it keeps changing yearly. It does not run like a propriety firm. If the song is played and we get logs for it, the member gets paid. India is not a compliant country and we have our limitations. We have only 90 officers across the country. Those who use music also have to be compliant. They have to pay the royalties and provide us with the set list of the songs played. Otherwise how will we know whom to distribute the royalty?
For the artists to receive royalty, he/she has to become a member and meet all the criteria. They need to update their new works with us. If the artist is performing, he/she needs to provide us with the set list and the logs so that the royalties can be distributed accordingly. Else the royalty gets summed up in the larger distribution scheme which is based on a formula approved by the members. Whereas if the set list is provided for the performance, the royalty is given only to those songs. It becomes very difficult to track the songs played from the non-film sector. We require the support of both the film music and non-film music artists.
What role does a member play?
We remind our members during the AGM that their role does not end by just becoming a member. We can be as good as the information you provide to us. How are we supposed to know the names of the lyricist or composer of a new song? If you do not submit your work, proof of it being your work, the names of the author, composer, publisher how do we register that work? If an artist’s work is not registered with us, we cannot pay royalty.
For any clarifications they can visit IPRS and talk to us. Earlier we were based only in Mumbai but now we have offices in Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi too. There is a structured online format also to register your work. They can mail us all the relevant details of their work on an excel spreadsheet. So we can verify it before we register it.
Source: Music Plus