| 30 Sep 2023
PDL's management welcomes WIPO treaties

MUMBAI: And now it’s the turn of the digital music licensing firm - the Phonographic Digital Limited (PDL) - to sound out its support to the Indian government’s ratification of the progressive WIPO Internet agreements, namely the WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty (WPPT).

 “Any copyright order, which brings all the countries together on a common copyright platform is always welcomed,” says PDL chairman Sovan Lal Saha. “I welcome this as a very good move, which will bring India into the world order as we need to as quickly as possible. This is because today music and video have become very close on account of the world becoming very small due to digital. We, therefore, need a common copyright law to govern us and can’t have different laws. The earlier India can get into the world order, the better.”

Adds PDL CEO Karan Grover: “Signing treaties like WIPO agreement means it will take us to a global scale at parity with other countries.”

The government’s decision has placed India in the list of countries that not only value and promote the creative industry but also seek to protect copyright in today’s internet era.

It’s been over a year since the PDL came into existence and, according to Karan, it “represents around 300 member labels – mostly regional ones.”

He exhorts and welcomes every Indian music label to enroll with the organization, adding  “We are not a regional company. We truly represent India, which is not just Mumbai and equivalent to Hindi.”

Majors like T-Series have not signed up with the PDL. Grover explains that it’s all about a cost-benefit analysis. “Larger companies can afford to have a digital team. They have to bear with things like fighting to get good rates and so on and so forth. But, if they see economies of scale coming through an organization like PDL, they are more than welcome,” he elaborates.

 “We as a company feel, because of our membership pattern and its depth, it's more institutionalized in the way of licensing procedures of all the members because together we can always get a better presence and negotiating power,” pipes in Saha.

Since his appointment at the CEO, Karan has introduced a CRM software called Infinite Soul that aims to nullify any human interface while recording royalties, thus offering accuracy. But he has maintained the same team, which was there earlier.

With Karan at the helm, one can expect PDL to pedal faster.

(For those who came in late, PDL is a global digital music collection company mandated to exploit rights and content of their members on digital platforms. Engaged in the licensing of copyright sound recordings and audiovisuals on digital outlets, it aims to maximize the value for sound recording owners.)