The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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New Year songs for a price

Siliguri, Dec. 26: Organisers planning gala musical nights on New Year’s Eve in Siliguri may land in big trouble.

A number of establishments in town have not paid the licence fee required to play music at such special events to the Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), which owns the sound recording rights and protects the interests of music producers. The government-registered society has now obtained an injunction from the Barasat court that restrains these organisers from playing music belonging to the companies represented by the PPL, from Saregama to Sony and Tips.

The defaulting establishments include Hotel Tourists Inn, Hotel Sinclairs, Mainak Tourist Lodge, Hotel Cinderella, Hotel Konark, Hotel Apollo, Hotel Saluja Residency and Uttrayan New Township at Matigara.

“If these hotels or the township organise any commercial event like DJ nights or orchestra on the night of December 31, they would be in big trouble. Despite several attempts, we have failed to get the licence fees from any of them,” PPL’s regional head (East), Supriyo Mukherjee told The Telegraph over phone from Calcutta.

PPL personnel, who may run spot checks at the parties on December 31, will have district and police administration on their side. “It is time we properly monitored and executed Public Performance Right and implemented the Copyright Act,” said Siliguri subdivisional officer Bidyut Bhattacharjee.

Some local hoteliers, however, appeared unperturbed.

“They have sent us letters and court orders. But we have planned an ordinary event on 31st night where a few commercial singers and dancers from Calcutta will perform. The number of viewers will be less than hundred. We don’t understand why we need to pay a heavy licence fee for such a small event,” said Arvind Poddar, the manager of Hotel Konark.

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