In the past 10 days there have been huge rumblings in the musical fraternity concerning a particular notification concerning IPRS charging a minimum sum of Rs. 20,000/- to Rs. 1 lakh per "Online Live/Prerecorded Events". There are certain important questions that this notification raises for the Music World which include the following :
1) What is the rationale behind the quantum of charge levied?
Have any similar global parameters been studied before such charge had been levied to comparitively initiate the charge specified?
2) What is the scope of the charge? Who fall under the ambit of this charge? Is an individual performer performing from home online liable to apply for a license? If yes doesnt this mean the death of social media as far as performances online are concerned? Is a singer or composer singing his compositions online or someone elses compositions online liable to pay?
3) If at all the charge at all is justified, isnt the timing of the charge highly cruel and insensitive considering the lakhs of singers, musicians, composers and performers of musical and lyrical works out there struggling to earn a living?
4) What are the seperate licences mentioned but not clarified in the notification, what is the additional license fee payable and who should that license fee be paid to?
5) Arent these the doings of an IPRS board completely polarised by Publishers and Lyricists that is completely insensitive and/or blissfully ignorant of the economics and scale of "Online Music Performances" and the interests of the other integral components of the Music Industry such as Composers, Singers and musicians.
It certainly seems that IPRS has fired a hasty bullet that has caused nothing but fear, apprehension, anger and frustration in the musical community across India and anyone across the world performing works that are registered with IPRS.
What IPRS has done has definitely provided fodder for the advocates of statutory lcensing for online performances to compel the Government to intervene in Public Interest!!