In a bid to assure the live events industry that it has the best interests of all stakeholders in mind, the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) announced on 25th July 2020 that it will not charge any fee or royalty for non-sponsored, non-branded, non-ticketed online events. Earlier in the month, the body caused a furor when it revealed tariffs that performers would have to pay for live-streamed online events, starting at Rs.20,000 plus taxes, effective 1st July 2020. That tariff was meant merely for consultation, according to the body’s latest announcement.
The IPRS has also announced that it will reveal ‘rationalized’ tariffs that balance the interests of music creators and publishers it represents, and those of other stakeholders, while simultaneously issuing interim norms for the online genre.
The withdrawal followed consultation initiated by the Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA), which put forth the challenges faced by stakeholders following the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Roshan Abbas, President, EEMA, said, “We are still in conversation with them. They are of course understanding of our viewpoint, whereby corporate and ticketed events are what we are discussing with them largely. Our view is to develop another place (online) where artistes can perform and earn some money. This is going to be the route, and for this route, there needs to be some kind of a reasonable rate. We are all amiable to the idea as long as it doesn’t kill the opportunity for either the artiste or the event manager because in times like these budgets have been drastically reduced. Every cost is being looked at with a fine-tooth comb.”
IPRS continues to hold that live online event that is sponsored/branded or co-branded/ticketed/or paid for in any way or form should require payment of royalties to creators and publishers for the use of their musical compositions and associated lyrics.
This is what has supported and continues to support lyricists and music composers during the ongoing COVID crisis, says the society, by allowing IPRS to distribute funds on two occasions to members and non-members.
Javed Akhtar, Chairman, IPRS, said in the statement, “Let no one doubt that while IPRS stands for and will continue to protect the interests of creators and publishers alike, it will never overlook the legitimate concerns of other stakeholders, including our singers.”
“IPRS is a collective body and is duty-bound to represent the interest of its members. But no less equally IPRS is alive to all stakeholder concerns and will continue to support and assist those who respect copyrights,” added Rakesh Nigam, CEO, IPRS.
In view of the concerns expressed, the following norms were issued by IPRS on 25th July (reproduced as is):
1. IPRS will NOT charge any license fee/royalty from the following categories of Live Online shows/ streaming events:
a. “Free Events” on YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM which are not sponsored/branded or co-branded/ticketed/or paid for in any way or form. This will extend as long as the lockdown/COVID crisis continues;
b. Classical Music events/ Classical Music Singers;
c. Devotional Music events/ Devotional Music Singers;
d. Folk Music events/Folk Music Singers.
2. IPRS’ LIVE Online Tariff will be back shortly with a more rationalized tariff which balances the interests of creators to be compensated fairly for the use of their music and other stakeholders.
3. IPRS is NOT applying the ‘Live Online Tariff’ which was posted online earlier.