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India’s IPRS readmitted to Cisac after 2016 expulsion

India’s performance rights organisation, the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS), has been readmitted to international authors’ rights association Cisac as an associate member after two years of reform.

IPRS was temporarily expelled from Cisac (International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers) in 2016 after a compliance review found “serious shortcomings and lack of compliance with Cisac’s rules”, according to the organisation, which represents 239 collection societies and performing rights organisations in 122 countries.

That decision, taken by Cisac’s board and general assembly, has now been reversed following “major reforms” in corporate governance, transparency, licensing, collections and distribution of royalties.

The society has also been re-granted registration under India’s copyright law by the Indian government.

“We are delighted to have IPRS back in our global network, following extensive reforms”

Cisac director-general Gadi Oron says: “India is an important market with a huge potential for creators and the creative industries. We are delighted to have IPRS back in our global network, following extensive reforms conducted at the society with Cisac’s support and guidance.

“Cisac’s best practice rules ensure high standards and mutual trust among our member societies and, as the India case shows, they also act as a lever for positive reforms where needed.”

“This homecoming is the occasion to acknowledge the decisive support received from the government of India when all hope was lost, as well as the unsparing assistance from and support of Cisac towards transparency and a compliant IPRS, for which the creative community will be forever grateful,” adds IPRS chairman, and former Cisac vice-president, Javed Akhtar. “Now we must look to the future.

“I want to assure all those who entrust their copyrights to the ‘new IPRS’ of our determination to become, in the shortest possible time, a world-class society, accurately tracking and monetising all usage of their musical works in the country.”


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IPRS goes digital to combat unlicensed events

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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