| 21 Feb 2024
Javed Akhtar: 'The Bombay HC judgment is totally incompatible with International law'

Acclaimed lyricist, poet, writer and member of parliament Javed Akhtar give his views on the Bombay High Court IPRS royalty ruling in favour of Radio City in a conversation with Poonam Ahuja.

I find the judgment completely regressive and totally incompatible with International law. The moment you say that as long as sound recording is being paid there should be no performing rights and that there should not be any performing right royalty, then are you suggesting that the millions of dollars that are being collected from FM stations all over the world as performance rights royalty by the Indian music business should be stopped?

Secondly are you suggesting that Indian FM Radio stations should not pay out performance rights to international royalty collecting societies for the International music they put out on air? Will it work? Do you think these collecting societies will accept that?  It is the norm all over the world.

There are two kinds of societies: one which looks after the music labels' interests and the other which looks after the artistes and musicians' interests. This was the norm Internationally and India has not invented this.

Today FM radio says we cannot have two windows. This is not a one window affair. When you have to take money as many windows are possible but when you have to give money two many windows are too many?  It's all rubbish. We as a fraternity are convinced that the IPRS will take it forward but I have no idea as to how much interested it will be, because in the end IPRS is controlled by PPL which is a unique situation unlike anywhere else in the world. So they may or may not want to safe guard performing rights but all this discussion is one way or the other is short lived, because the moment the Copyright Bill comes and turns into an Act this all will become obsolete.

The music fraternity as a whole will definitely intervene and go to the High court or Supreme court.