Producers, writers form panel to recover dues of over 15 cr

Industry sources claim that audio companies are reluctant to pay the full amount for audio rights and are holding back some amount of `10 to `30 lakh per film, until they get NOC from writers, composers and lyricists. As a result, dues have crossed more than `15 crore 

Hyderabad: With dues piling up from audio companies, Producers Guild and Writers Union have formed a 10-member co-ordination committee, five members from each body, to frame guidelines and discuss with audio companies to recover more than Rs 15 crore  dues.

 

Usually, audio companies hold some portion of money until producers submit  No Objection Certificate (NOC) from writers, composers and lyricists involved in that particular film. “I can’t divulge more details except to say that discussions are going on between members of Producers Guild and Writers Union and even attorneys for both parties are involved,” says Mohan Vadlapatla, Joint Secretary, Telugu Film Producers Council.

 

Industry sources claim that audio companies are reluctant to pay the full amount for audio rights and are holding back some amount of Rs 10 to Rs 30 lakh per film, until they get NOC from writers, composers and lyricists. As a result, dues have crossed more than Rs 15 crore. “It's true that audio companies are holding some amount until we submit NOC's," admits leading producer Bogavalli Prasad. 

 

Whereas, top honcho of a leading audio company denies it, “All our audio companies put together should pay just Rs 80 to 90 lakh. So these figures are exaggerated. It is producer’s responsibility to hand over audio rights to audio company without any hassles. So it’s more of an issue between producers and writers."

 

 When contacted, Umesh Gupta, Chairman of Aditya Music, explains, “We have to just pay for few films, that’s all. Despite success rate, audio business is dipping drastically due to lack of sales and piracy. It is streamlined in Bollywood and audio companies get all the NOC’s required. Actually, audio companies and writers are on the same page. 

 

Here since we are entitled to get royalty if a song is played on radio or if a mobile company sells a Ringtone or Caller tune, etc. There is a misconception that once you give NOC, they would forgo their subsequent loyalty rights but each of writer, lyricist and composer would get royalty as prescribed in the law for lifetime, and later on even their legal heirs would be entitled,” he concludes.

 

By BVS Prakash