In a huge development, the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) has appointed poet, scriptwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar as their chairman; and copyright administrator Achille Forler as a Permanent Advisor to the Board.
This is largely being seen as a positive development, as IPRS has been in the spotlight not only for their validity as a copyright society, but also for allegations of mismanagement and the lack of transparency. As Prashant notes, allegations against the IPRS management date back to 2004. The society has been accused of a number of illegalities, a few of which include the siphoning away of royalties, and money laundering. This led the Government to constitute a Commission of Inquiry to look into the administration of IPRS, whose final report is unfortunately still awaited.
Prashant had notified us of the Extraordinary General Meeting that IPRS held on February 9th, 2017, which, among other things, aimed to replace their Articles of Association. While this was perhaps the first step taken in their regulatory and managerial overhaul, Javed Akhtar called his appointment a “new chapter” for IPRS. He went on to state that: “writers, composers and publishers have risen above the past conflicts and have a taken a pledge to work together for the enhancement of Indian Music Industry’s reach and prosperity.” Moreover, IPRS has reportedly adopted a new working constitution which is in consonance with the amended Copyright Act.
While it is difficult to be overly positive of the change that this realistically entails due to IPRS’ murky past, we certainly hope that this switch up in management brings in an era of good governance and transparency at IPRS.
Image from here.