The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Aditya Chopra, chairman of Yash Raj Films (YRF) in connection with the alleged multi-crore royalty non-payment scam. Others who have been detained along with him are Shridhar Subramanium, vice-president of Sony Music India; and Devraj Sanyal, MD-CEO of Universal Music. According to the ED officials, the bosses are to appear before the ED in a couple of days.
According to the Asian Age, the move comes after Bhushan Kumar, managing director of T-Series, and Vikram Mehra of the Saregama music label, were questioned by the law enforcement department. The agency is currently in the process of figuring out the dues of each of the five concerned music companies.
As per section 18 of the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012, the lyricist and the composers (music directors) are entitled to a share of 50 per cent of the royalties collected by music companies. However, they have not received them since June 21, 2012.
According to a senior ED official who is part of the investigating team said, “A probe revealed that T-Series collected royalties worth Rs 2000 crore in the last six years of which 50 per cent belong to lyricists and composers, but not a penny was paid. Copyright is a form of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) that comes into being owing to the lyrists and the composers.”
Similarly, complaints were registered with the Delhi Police by Hindustani classical singer Shubha Mudgal eight months ago and leading ghazal and bhajan singers as well.
A case of money laundering has been registered against the accused and the ED is probing the money trail of the royalty amount.
T-series responded to the report with an official statement.
Vinod Bhanushali, President - Marketing, Media, Publishing and Music Acquisition, T-Series, said, “As law-abiding citizens, whatever documents are required, we have submitted to the ED team. We have not collected any royalties of composers and lyricists. We have collected royalties for our sound recordings, which are legally purchased from producers.”Other accused include Rakesh Nigam, CEO of Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS); Hasan Kamal and Om Prakash Sonik of IPRS; Tips MD Kumar Taurani; Vijay Lazarus, an honorary member of IPRS; and Ganesh Jain of Venus.