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12-30-2009, 03:45 AM #1
Literary Luminaries hail Copyright Amendment Bill
Many artistes including lyricist, poet and writer Javed Akhtar, have hailed the Cabinet's decision to amend the proposed Copyright Bill 2009 in the Budget session of Parliament.
They have started a series of talks on its implications on the Media and Entertainment Industry.
In a draft to Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, the artistes have thanked the Cabinet for bringing the proposed amendments that will grant them the right to retain royalties and benefits enjoyed through the copyright society.
Leading composers and lyricists like Pt Jasraj, Javed Akhtar, Shubha Mudgal and singer Shankar Mahadevan came together on one platform today to mark their solidarity with the proposed amendments.
They met the HRD Minister and thanked him for the Cabinet's decision to bring forth the proposed Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2009 in the forthcoming budget session.
This move will mitigate the possibility of the exploitation by the producers, music companies and music directors, Mr Akhtar said.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has also decided to holda round-table conference to generate a debate and bring forth the implications to various stake holders from the broadcasting industry to films and music companies.
Shankar Mahadevan, who has composed the famous album ''Breathless'' among other songs said, ''We artistes want that we should have a say on our own work and the proposed amendment will grant us royalty on our work. Presently, we have no say on our work. If I want to make changes in my album 'Breathless', I cannot do so, I have to seek the permission of my producer, who is now the owner of my literary work. This situation should be avoided.'' If a song written by a person from a remote village becomes a mega hit, it is the producer who makes profits out of it. The poor artiste will only receive one time payment irrespective of its popularity, said Mahadevan. So, the royalty should be passed on to the artistes too, he added.
On the other hand, legal luminaries have a different view.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) lawyer Gunjan Sharma said, '' How will the amendment help the artistes? Under the prevailing Copyright Act there is already moral protection granted to the artistes.
''The problem lies in the manner the contract is drafted.
According to the Copyright Law, the sole right always remains with the artistes but the producers, availing advantage of their position, take away all the rights from the artistes and get the contract signed in such a manner that the artiste has to seek the producer's permission in order to make changes in his work.''
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