After the stick, comes the carrot: As expected (read this) Photographic Performance Limited (PPL), a key part of the Indian Music Industry (IMI), is now offering illegal music websites an Internet License. This move is expected, and comes shortly after the IMI got orders from the Calcutta High Court directing 388 ISPs to block over 104 websites. A note from the IMI claims that “This unprecedented initiative has resulted into a series of
unlicensed Music Websites approaching IMI to help them seek Internet licenses.”

Smashits, Abhesh Verma & Saavn?

The IMI note states: ‘One SmasHits.com  Managing Director and Founder Mr. Abhesh Verma  has  been  in  discussion with for  future  growth  in  partnership  with  the  Indian  Music  Industry.  Speaking  after  obtaining  the license  Mr.  Abhesh  Verma  said,  “we completely endorse and support the IMI activity towards eradicating piracy.”‘

Last I checked, Verma was the CEO of Saavn Interactive, and Smashits was a part of Saavn. Verma’s LinkedIn profile lists him as the CEO of Saavn Interactive, Smashits and IndiAds. I don’t think the Smashits example should be seen as an indication that illegal music sites are queuing up for an Internet license; this doesn’t appear to be a recent development. We’ve asked the IMI to clarify on when Smashits got its Internet License.

No Comments On Rates

We requested the IMI for the pricing of the Internet license, and they’re not willing to share pricing details. The response we got via email: “The rates have always been standardized, however we would not be able to help you with details pertaining to the cost of the licence or the standardized rate card that the company operates in, as this is Internal Business Information.”

So much for transparency. If PPL and IMI are copyright societies, registered with India’s Registrar of Copyrights, shouldn’t they be more transparent with their rates?

Reading List

IMI Music Block
Saregama CEO Apurv Nagpal: We Want Piracy Sites To Go Legit By Paying A License Fee
– Indian Music Industry Gets Court Orders For Blocking 104 Music Sites
– List of 104 Music Sites That The Indian Music Industry Wants Blocked
– Songs.Pk Relaunched As Songspk.pk; Ad Networks?
– Songs.pk Banned By Calcutta High Court: Report

Reliance Entertainment & John Doe orders
– Reliance Entertainment Gets Order To Block Piracy Of “Bodyguard” On File Sharing Sites
– Files Sharing Sites Blocked In India Because Reliance BIG Pictures Got A Court Order

T-Series Cases

– Carrot & Stick: T-Series Gets Radiomaska.com MD Arrested; Takedown Notices To Dishant.com
– Guruji Shuts Music Search
– YouTube & Music Label T-Series Reach Out Of Court Settlement
– Execs Of Sequoia Funded Guruji.com Arrested Over Alleged Copyright Violation In India
T-Series Argues IT Act Doesn’t Prevent Courts From Terminating Copyright Infringement

Also read
– Hyderabad Police Arrests Torrent Uploaders