“We have distributed more than 325 crores in the last 2 years to the authors, composers, and publishers”: Rakesh Nigam, CEO, Indian Performing Right Society

Rakesh Nigam, CEO, The Indian Performing Right Society

The campaign License Liya Kya, aims to create awareness of the need for licensing amongst music users and enthusiasts. Over the years, The Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS), being India’s only copyright society represents the Authors, Composers, and Publishers of music. The organization puts relentless efforts to nurture an ecosystem that encourages creativity and fair value for music and its creators.

In an exclusive with Mr. Rakesh Nigam, CEO, IPRS , he talks about the role of license and challenges one has to face while obtaining a Music license.

Let’s read the excerpts:


Q) Tell us about the License Liya Kya campaign.

India is a country with a vast population of people with different languages and backgrounds. It is a land of music. It is a part of our culture. You can see music playing all around us related to our mood. But when it comes to the collection, we are very much past behind many countries. People don’t want to pay for the music they listen to. In the UK, there is 3 lakh license issued per year, to which they collect over 600-700 million pounds every year. Whereas in India we issue as low as 25000 licenses per year.

So, we wanted to tell people while shaking their conscious that if you are playing music, take a license. Therefore, our campaign says “License Liya Kya”. Have you taken the license for the music you’re playing?

Also Read: IPRS To Commence License Liya Kya Campaign

Q) Why should musicians and composers opt for a license? What is the role of a Music License?

The environment for music and music lovers has changed tremendously. Previously, there were cassettes and CDs including our favourite songs. And we used to purchase them from stores. This way the composer or author of that particular album or film would get remunerated. But today, music is not sold, it is just heard. People enjoy music now and they don’t have to purchase it. There are several mediums to hear a song.

This way the author, composers, and everyone who creates a song will never get anything in return for the energy and time they invest in creating the piece. How will they get remunerated? If they don’t earn from the song, they will not be able to further invest in the process of creating music. Therefore, it is very necessary that people take this as a signal.

Mr. Rakesh Nigam, CEO, The Indian Performing Right Society

Q) Who can obtain a Music License in India?

Anyone who is playing music in commercial areas like hotels, restaurants, events (ground events and online events), radio users, televisions and internet, all the people should obtain a License to play the music. Whereas, people playing or performing music at home or residential complexes are exempted from obtaining licenses.

We are also working hard to make this process easy for people. The system is very transparent and online. Now they don’t need to visit license executives. No need to take hassles to meet people and negotiate on tariffs. People just need to visit our website. After login, one has to choose which license he wants to obtain. You can see their different tariffs. Click on the right choices and then pay for the amount. The moment you pay, your license is generated online.

Q) What impact does the license have on music creators and users? The different licensing options based on usage and platform?

We have collected approximately 170 crores in the last two years. And we have distributed more than 325 crores in the last 2 years to the authors, composers, and publishers. In fact, we have also extended financial help to many deserving authors and composers, so they can take care of their daily needs and responsibilities.

We have 20 different categories where music is played on a regular basis. There is a hotel license, restaurant license, transport license, television, radio, etc. There is a different tariff for all of them depending upon the usages.

Q) What are the challenges that one has to face in Music Licensing in India?

In India, we are used to playing music freely without paying for it. So the main challenge becomes to make these people pay for music licenses. People often consider this as a music tax. The bigger the personality is, the more resistant he is to pay for music.  With this campaign, we are trying to banish this mindset of people.

Also Read: IPRS Celebrates Its Iconic 52 Years’ Journey

Q) How IPRS has upheld musicians’ rights during the pandemic?

We are a non-profit making organization. Except for our administrative expenditure, we distribute all our earnings. In the last two years, we have distributed 200 crores among the authors, music composers, music publishers in terms of royalty distribution and financially also. IPRS helped them in this moment of crisis.

Q) Tell us about your future plans and programs.

For now, we want to start this campaign and educate people about getting licenses for the music they play. Even if this process is slow, we are still hoping to make a difference. We want people to understand that playing music is not free.




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