July was rife with confusion and panic for artists who could hitherto perform online concerts without having to worry about royalties. A vaguely-worded notification from the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) announced its decision to charge artists a minimum INR 20,000 fee, effectively mandating organisers to obtain a licence for a live stream, irrespective of whether the event is free or ticketed, which could be as high as INR 1 lakh for ad-supported events.
The news came as a rude shock for chiefly film and TV composers, lyricists and performers, and other artists who pointed out the unfairness of the move at a time when the live performance revenue stream has dried up. The announcement also set off confusion for independent artists and promoters who are looking for clarity as to where they stand in terms of this rule, many of whom learnt of IPRS for the first time but later realised they may have released music through the body.
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