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Key issues raised at Indian Music Industry Convention 2019: compulsory licensing, fair value, safe harbour

"The biggest raw material for the radio industry is music, and they pay the music industry Rs 60 crores. We don't get paid more than 2% of the topline," said Vikram Mehra, chairman of the Indian Music Industry (IMI) and Saregama MD, at IMI's 2019 Convention in New Delhi. Pointing out a legacy IMI issue, Mehra said the music industry powers larger industries like radio (worth Rs 3200 crore) and TV (Rs 17,000 crore), but doesn't get a 'fair value' for their music. "When we ask for a legitimate share, are we being unfair? Television also has protection under statutory licensing. If music labels are asking for fair share from a 17,000 crore company, are we being unfair?" 'Outdated' safe harbour: intermediaries are not passive anymore Lauri Rechardt of IFPI (International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) blamed the safe harbour granted to intermediaries such as YouTube, who are protected from user-generated content that violate copyright. "User upload and video sharing services such as YouTube account for 50% of all time spent for listening to music," he said. Regarding OTT services being intermediaries, Aditya Gupta of Aditya Music said they're conflicting with music streaming apps, and sought support from government. "All these intermediary services, in the name of user-generated content, have huge consumption," he said. Record labels have evolved with technology. Today, about 78% of the recorded music industry’s revenues in India come from digital services. However, they point out that the law has not kept abreast with changing technology. The…

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