Yash Raj Films or YRF (as they’re more commonly known) has been accused of pocketing music royalties worth Rs 100 crore by a body called the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS), according to this Mumbai Mirror report. The body has filed an FIR against the company for illegally collecting the royalties belonging to IPRS members like composers, lyricists and music producers of the industry.
The FIR naming Aditya Chopra and Uday Chopra as the main accused, and alleges that the body has been ‘prevented’ from collecting royalties from telecom companies, radio stations and music streaming platforms, after they pressured artistes to sign ‘illegal’ contracts.
Music royalties has been a murky territory for Bollywood, after veteran composer AR Rahman was embroiled in a more than one court battle after the music companies refused to share the title rights for his music. Abhay Deol famously donned a ‘black eye’ at a red carpet event, after being forced to sign an unreasonable contract with Bhushan Kumar’s T-Series, for the music of his film One By Two.
YRF has been notorious for its hawk-like copyright policies, getting into an infamously public duel with comedy collective – All India Bakchod. According to the FIR filed by the IPRS, Rs 100 crore is just ‘the tip of the iceberg’, the bigger fight is against the likes of YRF Music, T-Series, who take on often desperate (and even established) musicians by getting them to sign unfair contracts. The music companies might dance around legal jargon to establish how they might be in the right, however, the unfair practices surely need to be put into check.