Live show organisers slam groups over illegal money demand

New Delhi, July 8 (IANS) Organisers of live music stage shows on Wednesday hit out at de-registered copyright organisations Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) and Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) for “extorting” money from them.

The Delhi Organizers and Artists Society, at a conference at the Press Club of India here, said they aimed to spread awareness about IPRS and PPL that have been “illegally collecting money” from stage organisers for the last two years.

Society president Amarjit Singh Kohli said both IPRS and PPL, which were earlier copyright societies, automatically got de-registered on June 21, 2013.

Kohli noted that an amendment required that “previous copyright societies apply for re-registration, furnishing full accounts before copyright board on or before June 21, 2013. But these two societies failed to get registration from copyright board. Today, they are illegal private societies”.

According to Kaushik Kothari, who practises in the Bombay High Court, there are innumerable court cases against IPRS and PPL in various Indian cities for illegally collecting money.

Kothari, who is also the president of the Mumbai-based Organizers and Artists Welfare Trust, added that in an attempt to save themselves from the clutches of law, both IPRS and PPL, whose headquarters are in Mumbai, have admitted on their own letterheads that they are no longer copyright societies.

Displaying photocopies of this admission, Kothari said he was shocked to know that Delhi branch offices of IPRS and PPL have kept everybody in the dark, including Delhi Police’s licensing department, stage organisers, auditoriums, restaurants and hotels and alleged IPRS and PPL were engaged in “large scale cheating and extortion of money”.

At the event, Delhi Police was also urged to take appropriate action against the two organisations. Police may ask these two societies to furnish renewed certificates of registration from the copyright board, and if they fail to furnish them, it may take suitable action against them under various laws, he said.

In the meantime, receipts of money given by IPRS and PPL to various organisers of Delhi can be collected and a consolidated list furnished to Delhi Police.

Also present at the conference were representatives of Delhi Police, who stated that they will first gather full information on the subject, satisfy themselves about the stated facts and then initiate further action under the law.

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