Armed with a Calcutta High Court order, Indian Music Industry (IMI), the umbrella organisation representing 142 music companies including Saregama, Universal Music, Tips, Venus, Sony Music and EMI, has served notices to as many as 387 internet service providers, or ISPs, over music copyright infringement by 104 websites.
The ISPs include Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Dishnet Wireless, Reliance Wimax, Hathway Cable & Datacom, Hughes Communications, Tata Teleservices, Reliance Communications Infrastructure, Wipro, Sify Technologies and BG Broadband.
The high court order last week “restrained the ISPs from reproducing, adopting, distributing, communicating, transmitting, disseminating or displaying in any manner infringing the copyright in sound recordings belonging to the IMI member companies.”
“We hope that such a move will help curb piracy and go a long way in supporting original music and its creators,” said IMI president Vijay Lazarus.
“Piracy is a scourge for India’s media and entertainment industry, causing losses of about `20,000 crore every year due to copyright infringement. Recent estimates suggest that India’s digital music market is in the range of `5,000 crore, but only 7% of it is legitimate,” he said.
Music company officials underscored the need for greater transparency.
“All we’re trying to say is that instead of illegally stealing intellectual property rights, pay the stipulated reasonable licence fee and partner with us,” said Apurva Nagpal, managing director, Saregama India.
Shridhar Subramaniam of Sony Music said the approach was to create a level playing field. “We are not here to target anyone specific. We just want it to be a fair game, that’s all.”