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Tue, 28 April 2015 12:46:17
Sri Lanka introduces laws to pay local artists royalties
06 Nov, 2006 14:42:23
By Gayan Ratnayake
Nov 06, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lanka Monday announced measures to charge a royalty fee on the commercial use of local artists’ creations and penalties for violators, in a bid to tighten the misuse of copyright laws.
Mooted by the national Intellectual Property Office or NIPO and the Collective Societies of Sri Lanka, the law sets a fee structure on how artists such as lyricists, musicians and singers, should be paid, whenever their creations are used for a public performance.

Under the Intellectual Property Act 2003 of Sri Lanka, organizers of musical shows and electronic media institutions, will now have to get prior written permission from artists, NIPO Office said Monday.

Fee Structure

Annually 100 rupees per song for broadcast on TV and 20 rupees for radio

Night clubs, karaoke bars, restaurants and musical shows are charged 5,000 rupees per song per year

Organizations such as banks, conference halls using local music for an event need to pay 15,000 rupees for a license

National Lotteries Board, Development Lotteries will pay an annual license fee of 100,000 rupees each

Copyright music is free for educational purposes, talent performances, welfare and non-profit events

(Source: Sri Lanka Performing Rights Society)

Sri Lanka's music industry is worth around 1.3 billion rupees, of which Sinhala language content accounts for around 70 percent, English 15 percent, Tamil 10 percent and Hindi 5-percent.

However, around 94 percent of international content, nearly all Tamil and Hindi content and 20 percent of Sinhala music sold in the market via CDs, DVDs, are bootlegs imported from Pakistan and South East Asian countries, according to local music industry.

Director of Sri Lanka Performing Rights Society, Bobby Boteju says those who violate the law face a six months jail sentence or a fine of 500,000 rupees, with penalties doubled for repeated misuse.

"(NIPO) will act as a mediator," says Boteju, on any misuse or breach of license and the offender will be "taken to courts," if the need arises.

Issues like breach of contract and issuing a license will be handled by collective societies which the local artistes have banded together to form.

So far, the Outstanding Song Creators' Association (OSCA), Sri Lanka Creative Value Protection Society and Sri Lanka Performing Rights Society have joined the scheme.

"We will officially inform all the artists and the broadcasting and print media about the new regulations soon," Boteju told LBO on Monday.

Currently, the Performing Rights Society has 400 members, with artistes qualifying for membership when their work has been published at least three times.
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1. Nov 06
If this works it will be an end to all those event organizers, mock companies, and ad agencies who have been ripping off local artists by pocketing the lions share of sponsorships and payment for the events they organize while paying local artists a pittance or asking them to play for free in return for the 'exposure'.

More power to the boys and girls in the bands and less to these leeches who have been bleeding them dry for so long.