The music royalty issue is snowballing into a serious situation, serious enough to bring about a delay in the Phase III of bidding for FM licences. The Information and Broadcasting Ministry is hesitant to announce Phase III of bidding given the current financial situation of the radio industry due to high royalty charges in smaller cities. The demand for royalty in smaller cities exceeds 100 per cent of the revenue of such radio stations. Therefore the Government, the Ministry of HRD, and the I&B Ministry are taking up this issue seriously.
It may be recalled that exchange4media had reported on January 27, 2009 that the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) had filed a criminal case against Radio City President Apurva Purohit and other officials of Radio City for copyright violation despite the fact that a civil case is already going on in the Bombay High Court and the matter is sub judice.
Though music royalty has been a contentious issue for quite a while, some headway seemed to have been made on December 15, 2008, following the meeting called by the I&B Ministry between the music and radio industries along with the Registrar of Copyrights and Secretary, HRD, to start a cumulative process for nationalising music royalties for radio.
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