The Copyright Act, 1957 was amended last in 2012 and came into effect from 21st June, 2012. The amendments were historic in a way that they amended the provision regarding "Performers" to protect their interests in line with India's international commitments. It strengthened the "Performer's Right" in India which now are in harmony with Article 14 of the TRIPS Agreement as also is compatible with Articles 5 to 10 of the WPPT.
This is the fruit of decades of hard labour that a team of singers have led to get Singers their justifiable place in the Copyright regime. At Last!!! Singers are NO MORE VOCAL INSTRUMENTS. Their Creativity in a Song is now recognized and they have now started getting Royalties from the Exploitation of their Performances. The entire fraternity of Singers thanks the Government of India for meting out the long sought for copyright justice to the Singers of India.
The Performers' Rights subsist for 50 years from the date of performance.
Section 38A was introduced and provides for Economic Rights to Performers such that without prejudice to the rights conferred on Authors, the Performer's Right have an exclusive right to do or authorize the doing of any of the following acts in respect of the performance or any substantial part there of :
(a) to make a sound recording or a visual recording of the performance, including —
(b) to broadcast or communicate the performance to the public except where the performance is already broadcast.
The "Performers Right" is a newly born Right. However, Composers/Songwriters, Producers & Music Companies need not have to worry because Rights of both Composers/Songwriters & Producers/Music Companies and the Performers will run parallel as both are entitled for economic benefits from the commercial use of the performance.
It has also been expressly provided that once a Performer has by written agreement consented to the incorporation of his performance in a Film, the Performer cannot object to the enjoyment by the Producer of the Film of the Performers' Rights in the SAME Film, unless there is a contract to the contrary.
Further, Section 38 B gives Moral Rights to Performers. The Performer will have the right to claim to be identified as the Performer of his performance except where omission is dictated by the manner of the use of the performance. He will also have the right to restrain or claim damages in respect of any distortion, mutilation or other modifications of his performance that would be prejudicial to his reputation. However, the law clarifies that mere removal of any portion of a performance for the purpose of editing, or to fit the recording within a limited duration, or any other modification required for purely technical reasons shall not be deemed to be prejudicial to the reputation of the Performer.
Thus, the Performers are now entitled to receive Royalties in case of making of the performances for commercial use, where the performance is utilized in any form other than for the communication to the public of the performance along with the Film in a cinema hall.
Further, the Performer CAN Assign his Copyright BUT CANNOT Assign or Waive the Right to Receive Royalties for the utilization of such performance in any form other than for the communication to the public of the performance along with the Film in a cinema hall. The Performer Can Assign the Right to Receive Royalties to either his Legal Heir or a Copyright Society for collection and distribution. Any Agreement to the Contrary shall be VOID.
Thus, after the Amendments, the Performers got together and as required by the Act, started the process of forming a Copyright Society which could collect and distribute their Royalties to them.
M/s. Lata Mangeshkar, Usha Mangeshkar, Suresh Wadkar, Gurdaas Mann, Pankaj Udhas, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Sonu Nigam & Sanjay Tandon with support from M/s. Asha Bhosle, Shaan, Kunal Ganjawala, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mahalaxmi Iyer and others formed the ISRA (Indian Singers' Rights Association).
ISRA (Indian Singers' Rights Association) was incorporated as a Company Limited by Guarantee under the Companies Act, 1956 on 3rd May, 2013.
Thereafter, ISRA (Indian Singers' Rights Association) filed for Registration as a Copyright Society as per Section 33 of the Copyright Act and received its Certificate of Registration from the Central Government on 14th June, 2013 for 5 years. Thereafter, the registration was renewed for a further period of 5 years.
Now ISRA is THE Registered and infact the 1st Copyright Society to be registered by the Central Government after the 2012 amendments to the Copyright Act for Singers (as part of Performers).
It is now a reality that Singers of India through ISRA have :
ISRA’s membership is now growing steadily and it has till 31-3-2021, distributed Rs. 6 Crs.
ISRA is strongly expanding its international footprints by entering into Agreements with several International Societies.
Any User who plays/exploits/utilises the songs sung by ISRA’s and its affiliated society members is now statutorily required to obtain a Clearance from ISRA by paying the requisite Royalty to it as per prescribed Tariffs. Thus weather they play Indian or International songs sung by Singer members, the User is required to pay the ISRA Royalties.