The formation of Indian Singers' Rights Association (ISRA) was announced at a press conference on Thursday in the presence of well-known singers like Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Kailash Kher, Hariharan, Pankaj Udhas, Udit Narayan and Shaan, among others. Through this association a singer can claim royalties from all platforms wherever his/her songs are played like radio stations and television channels, among others. "The formation of ISRA is a big victory for all the singers who have been fighting for their rights since a long time. We will collect royalty from TV, radio, etc and not from producer or music company. Copyright will be applicable to old songs also till 50 years," Sanjay Tandon, Managing Director, ISRA said.
"Also, nobody can reproduce your performance - be it in audio or video form. The right to reproduce should be taken by music Company and producer," Tandon said. The performers' right shall subsist for 50 years from the date of performance and all singers of the country and their legal heirs will benefit from it, he said. It is reported that though the royalty for all singers would be equal, the rates will differ for radio stations and TV channels. Singers feel royalties will provide financial security. Sanu described ISRA as the first step towards recognising the rights of artists but said there is a long way to go.
"In our country singers have to think of promoting themselves which is not the case abroad. When our song becomes hit everyone earns money - from producer to music company. Why can't a singer earn money? This is the first step but there is a long way to go," he said. "ISRA will keep a tab on the money generated through a song at various platforms. We all need to come together and ensure this thing happens," he added.
Yagnik said after a certain age we won't be able to sing frequently. "This is the time when royalties will be our source of income. Royalties for our work is our right. We need to stand for our rights."