IPRS launches awareness drive on music licensing

The 'License Liya Kya' campaign highlights 'fair pay and fair play' in the music industry.

Mumbai: The Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS), India’s only copyright society representing authors, composers, and publishers of music is commencing a three-month-long campaign 'License Liya Kya' to educate music users on the different licensing needs and kinds of music licenses available.

It will highlight the benefits of music licensing and the ease of procurement through a copyright society like the IPRS. Topics covered will include music licensing scenario in India, why music licensing matters, and the future of music licensing in the digital era. The campaign will witness talks with industry insiders and experts via virtual events, influencer programmes, and awareness-building initiatives.

“We are glad to announce this campaign which will not only bring in awareness but will also highlight the importance of music licensing. We have always believed in creating a secure community for authors, composers, and music publishers," said IPRS chairman Javed Akhtar. "Through this campaign, we aim to bring about gradual transformation and a mindset shift towards respecting and acknowledging 'Fair Pay and Fair Play' of Music. We have received a great response for our previous campaigns, and we look forward to receiving wholehearted support for this initiative as well.”

According to the Music Consumer Study 2018, the old licensing process or the physical licensing process contributed only 10.7 per cent to the streaming revenue of the overall market. Only five per cent of the businesses took a license for the public performance of the music they play. However, after the introduction of digital licenses where people can take online licenses as well as can make online payments, digital sales began contributing 78.5 per cent to the revenue.

As per a recent study by FICCI & EY Indian consumers spent 21.5 hours per week listening to music in 2020. While India’s average of 21.5 hours/week is higher than the global average of 17.8 hours/week, royalties to authors and composers make up only a small percentage of the media and entertainment industry’s total revenue.

The objective of the IPRS with this campaign is to drive awareness towards Fair Pay and Fair Play in music by emphasising on the significance of abiding by licensing norms. The IPRS, registered under section 33 (3) of the Copyright Act, 1957 is entitled to grant licenses for usage of musical and literary works of its members for public performance and/or communication. There are different categories of tariffs depending on the premise, event, and medium - television, radio, internet streaming, etc where such musical work is used.  IPRS currently administers two types of licensing rights namely performing rights and mechanical rights.

“With the launch of this campaign, we aim to create awareness on licensing and simultaneously felicitate our partners who have extended their support in endorsing fair trade music and upheld transparent and ethical value chain for authors, composers, and all music rights holders," stated IPRS CEO Rakesh Nigam. "Through this initiative, IPRS would educate, inform and reinstate the need to listen to licensed music, thereby paving the path towards a flourishing future for the music industry and its creators."

Some of the earlier campaigns executed by IPRS include 'Credit The Creators' (addressing the need to acknowledge and credit creators of music), 'Know Your Music' (an initiative to promote different genres of Indian music and initiate transformation in the way audience engage with music) and 'Her Music' (addressing lack of women representation in the music industry and creating a forum to empower, encourage and celebrate women in music).

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