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Javed Akhtar distributes Rs 13 crore royalty to composers, authors

PTI | Mumbai |

Veteran film writer and lyricist Javed Akhtar, who is chairman of the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) distributed Rs 13 crore among its members as part of the royalty given by music companies.

The Akhtar-headed 48-year-old copyright royalty collection body is an officially registered copyright society for musical works and associated literary works in India.

As many as 2,800 members of the IPRS will be paid ‘synchronisation royalty’ by Phonographic Performance Ltd PPL) on behalf of music companies like Saregama, Sony Music, Tips, Universal Music, Venus and Aditya Music.

“I’m glad this has happened. So far so good but we have a long way to go. It’s not as if this is the end. People with whom we had differences of opinion, we have now reached an understanding with them and have smoothened out all the differences,” Akhtar told PTI.

The 73-year-old writer has long been championing the cause of getting royalties for writers and music composers but says it would be unfair to call today’s event a “victory”.

“To call it a victory will not be in good taste. We have reached an understanding and found ways to work in harmonious manner. What is important is to respect the understanding and bury the hatchet because we all work together. We don’t need a militant attitude here,” he said.

Akhtar stressed this was not mechanical royalty which is used for radio and streaming platforms but ‘synchronisation royalty’ that comes into play when film songs of an artiste are used in ads, video or other films.

The said music companies have given a collective sum of Rs 13 crore for the last six years. Members who have less than 10 songs will be given RS 10,000, while those with more than 10 songs will be paid RS 53,000.

Though several companies have come forward and paid royalties, T-Series and Yash Raj Films are yet to join the movement.

Akhtar, however, says there is no “bitterness” and he is in talks with both the companies.

“We are in negotiation with them. My association with YRF has been very old. I’ve been working with Yash ji when (his sons) Aditya and Uday were in the pram.

“My first song was written for Yash ji. They are nice, polite, educated people. I don’t see any unpleasantness or serious discord,” the veteran Bollywood personality said.

“We are meeting them. Whatever their reservation, apprehension or may be misinformation they have, we will clarify that and reach some conclusion,” he added.