Many Mumbai party venues will face music for evading fees

Last Updated: Fri, Dec 30, 2011 17:40 hrs

Mumbai, Dec 30 (IANS) In a damper to New Year Eve festivities, the Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) has slapped notices on many hotels, restaurants and pubs which have failed to cough out licence fees to play music at their venues, its CEO said Friday.

The PPL also has warned strict legal action against the defaulters who fail to pay up the requisite licence fees before the events lined up for the New Year's Eve celebrations.

The PPL has served the notices to Mumbai's JW Marriot Hotel, Canvas (Lounge Bar), Ramada Hotel and Abbot Hotel and Marine Centre in Navi Mumbai.

'New Year parties attract people promising them a good time through a combination of entertainment, food and beverage. A significant component of the sum charged is for music. The music companies whose sound recording is regularly used have a right towards claiming their due because their product is getting consumed too,' said PPL CEO Vipul Pradhan.

He said that under the statutory Indian Copyright Act, Sec. 35, playing commercial music in public without paying the requisite license fee is an offence liable to contempt of court. The defaulters attract a punishment of 3 years' imprisonment and a fine of Rs.200,000.

The law grants exclusivity to PPL to issue licenses to hotels/pubs for playing music during the events in their respective premises, all over India. The tariff is calculated on the basis of the number of hours the music is to be played and the number of people expected to attend the event.

Pradhan said that besides hotels, resorts, restaurants, bars, pubs, shacks, discotheques, DJs, cruise liners, cinemas, banks, offices, amusement parks and other public venues are covered under the PPL's licence scheme as it constitutes an infringement of the Copyright Act, 1957.

PPL, incorporated in 1941, is the apex licensing arm of the Indian music industry, overseeing the broadcast, telecast and public performance rights of its more than 240 member companies.

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