We are begging for alms: SP Balasubramaniam
Indian Singers’ Rights Association (ISRA) is bringing together all Indian singers eligible to receive a royalty whenever their output is used for commercial purpose in public platforms like FM stations. They could be movie singers or others like folk artists, classical singers, devotional singers, etc.
ISRA's AP and Telangana chapter was launched on Wednesday. At the launch event, which was graced by a number of Telugu singers, SP Balasubramaniam spoke earnestly of the rights of singers to receive a royalty. "We are not asking for big amounts. It's as if we are begging for alms. Our voice is heard everywhere via music platforms, FM stations, etc. They are made commercial use of. All these years, we haven't received a paisa even when our songs are played any number of times for years," SPB said.
Singers are ineligible for royalty for songs at public performances, where someone else sings a song. But music directors and lyricists are eligible to get royalty since their creative output is used in public performances.
But it's a long haul before the system of royalty payments is institutionalized in India. Legal backing is in place and the Centre is taking steps to implement a law that was made in 2012. ISRA is happy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reacted favourably recently to the agenda of the association.