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IPRS goes digital to combat unlicensed events

With just 10% of the 80,000+ live events in India in 2017 having an IPRS licence, the PRO is taking its application process online

By Jon Chapple on 31 Aug 2018

IPRS CEO Rakesh Nigam (left) and chairman Javed Akhtar

IPRS CEO Rakesh Nigam (left) and chairman Javed Akhtar

image © IPRS

For the first time, the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) is allowing event promoters to pay digitally for the use of its members’ repertoire, in a bid to increase copyright compliance in a country where as many of 90% of live events go ahead without an IPRS licence.

Javed Akhtar, chairman of the performance rights organisation, explains: “IPRS wants to ensure that purchasing of licences by the organiser for any event, big or small and anywhere in the country, can be done at the click of a mouse.

“This step will bring total transparency and [increase] ease of doing business with the society to the benefit of everybody concerned. On the other hand, events organisers should have no excuse any more for not obtaining the licence required under the law.”

According to Rakesh Nigam, IPRS CEO, the society is “committed to going all-digital”, mirroring the ongoing move away from paper money in India, especially since late 2016’s demonetisation crisis.

“Events organisers should [no longer] have an excuse for not obtaining the licence required under the law”

“It requires substantial investment by the society over the medium term,” he continues, “but our top priority is to take out the friction from the licensing process: removing negotiations and cash payments from the system will increase efficiency and transparency, and save time and costs for everyone.”

According to RNM, Rakesh, along with his counterpart at India’s Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), revealed recently that of the more than 80,000 events organised in India last year, just 10% had a valid licence.

IPRS, headquartered in Mumbai (Bombay), is India’s only government-authorised royalty collection society for music authors, composers and publishers.


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