Manna, Sudhin, Nachiketa Deprived of Music Royalties

RBN Web Desk: Legendary Bengali composers Manna Dey, Nachiketa Ghosh, and Sudhin Dasgupta—it has been learnt—were deprived of huge sums in music royalties during their lifetime while many of their peers were paid handsome amounts. Even after their death, the legal heirs of these artistes have not received any payment in this regard, it’s being alleged.

Music royalties for all artistes and composers in India are handled by the Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRSL). The organisation, founded in August 1969, is the industry body that gives licenses to users to play recorded songs and music and hold live performances. Royalties are usually collected by IPRSL and paid to the artistes involved before awarding the license. All leading musicians, composers, singers and performing artistes in India are members of IPRSL.

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The problem in paying music royalties to Manna, Sudhin, and Nachiketa seems to have cropped up since they are not registered members of IPRSL.

Nachiketa’s son, composer Suparnakanti Ghosh, told the media that IPRSL had asked him to submit the succession certificate to claim the royalties. However, he had submitted the original certificate to His Master’s Voice (HMV) after his father died to claim the recorded music royalties from that company. Since photocopying was not much in vogue back then, he didn’t keep a copy of the certificate, he added. Suparnakanti himself is an IPRSL member and gets the music royalties for all his compositions. IPRSL recently assured him to resolve the problem, Suparnakanti informed.

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Sudhin’s daughter Saberi Dasgupta echoed Suparnakanti. IPRSL had asked her to submit the succession certificate. Saberi told the media that she and her brother Soumya ran from pillar to post in this regard to no avail.

Composer Salil Chowdhury’s daughter Antara Chowdhury, however, said that she receives all royalties for his father’s compositions from IPRSL. Salil’s royalties, after his death, were paid to her mother Sabita. She died on 28 June 2017 and since then Antara has been receiving the payment.

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