T-Series agrees to join IPRS, ending years of tiff

India’s largest film music label, Super Cassettes Industries Ltd, popularly known as T-Series, has finally become a member of the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS), ending years of disagreement and following many rounds of discussions and negotiations.

The decision will add over 15,000 hours of music to the society’s catalogue, including 200,000 titles and over 50,000 music videos across over 15 Indian languages.

The move will also pave the way for the audio platforms to disburse royalties due to the music label, which were kept in suspense accounts, as T-Series wasn’t part of the IPRS till now.

“It’s a big moment for the entire music industry,” said lyricist Javed Akhtar, chairman, IPRS. “It’s a mutual win-win proposition for the music label, and all the authors and music composer members.”

Akhtar said with such a huge company coming on board, “it gives IPRS a lot of strength to sign deals and get the right amount of royalties for the members, who will benefit tremendously.”

IPRS is the only registered Indian Copyright Society representing over 5,000 of India’s best-known authors, composers, and music publishers as members.

It is authorised to carry on the business of issuing and granting licenses in respect of musical works and literary works assigned to it by members, as well as to collect and distribute the Authors’ Statutory Royalties, for the exploitation of these works including live performances, or sound recordings.

“When I took over the business 22 years back, no one was acknowledging the sound recording royalty. It was only after the amendments to the Copyright Act in 2012 when it was included,” Bhushan Kumar, chairman and managing director, T-Series, who is joining the IPRS board as director, said.

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“Copyright is at the heart and soul of what T-Series creates. Joining IPRS is a logical progression for the company.”

Kumar said the decision would benefit the entire music industry.

“T-Series will not just bring more value to IPRS and its members, but we will also be able to help composers and lyricists who may not be working anymore, but have created music in the past,” Kumar said.

Since its reconstitution in 2017 under Akhtar, IPRS has brought music composers, the fraternity of lyricists and music companies together.

The society has distributed Rs 140 crore in royalties in the last financial year, said Rakesh Nigam, CEO, IPRS.

“This year, despite Covid-19, we are distributing Rs 180 crore. With T-Series, we expect the collection to go up to Rs 250 crore,” he said.

As per Nigam, in the next five years, IPRS should be able to collect Rs 500-700 crore on the behalf of its members.

“It will make a huge difference to a lot of composers and creators,” Nigam added.



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