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License before you play music

Friday, June 09, 2006

Guwahati (UNI): Next time you decide to dance the night away at a party, make sure that you have the license for it. While dance movements may yet be beyond the domain of copyright laws, the music you play is not. With the mushrooming of discos, the license to play music has gained much importance Though awareness levels regarding copyright laws have increased considerably over the past decade, music industry still continues to lose valuable revenue.

Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), the sole copyright society registered with the Government of India in respect of sound recordings, yesterday organised a meeting here to create awareness regarding the violation of copyright laws by commercial establishments. Besides owners of hotels, shopping malls, petrol pumps and other concerned people, Additional Deputy Commissioner C K Bhuyan also attended the meeting.

Permission from the PPL is necessary for playing pre-recorded music in any form in public places. The PPL administers the broadcasting, telecasting and public performance rights on behalf of 167 music companies, including all majors like Sa Re Ga Ma (HMV), Sony, Tips, Venus, Virgin and Universal. While some hotels in the city like the Brahmaputra Ashok, Nandan and Landmark had already obtained the license, many restaurant, lounge bar and mall owners were not in the know about the need to have a license. PPL business development manager Supriyo Mukherjee informed that infringement of the copyright act was punishable by up to three years of imprisonment and Rs 2 lakh of fine. Mr Bhuyan also emphasised the need for spreading awareness among the owners regarding the importance of playing music with requisite permission.

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