No day would have been better than the World Music Day (21st of June) to write an article about how people of India have inclined towards listening the music in last few years, thanks to piracy. India has its own heritage deeply enriched with classical music. Along with the classical music, Indians also appreciate rock, metal, jazz etc. According to 2012 FICCI-KPMG report, it estimates the value of Indian Music industry around Rs 8.53 billion in 2010, registering a growth of nearly 9.64% over 2009. But the most striking estimate of the report is that the physical sale comprising of music cds contribute only 6% to the total revenue generated. With the growing penetrability of the internet in India, the easy access to the digital music is increasing rapidly in the form of songs download (free or paid) and streaming. With everything right at our finger tips, the amount of music listeners is growing massively in India, but the major reason behind this growth is piracy.
Copyright infringement under the alias name of Piracy is the unauthorized use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder’s “exclusive rights“, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, spread the information contained within copyrighted works, or to make derivative, as Wikipedia puts it. As Indians are fond of getting everything for free, piracy seems to be something very close to the heart of a music freak. Availability of all of the genres of music on the net, paying for a song is considered an act of tomfoolery. Gone are the days when people used to rush to the nearest music store to grab the music CD of the latest flick or used to call up their cousins abroad to send them the latest CD of their favourite band. More and more websites come up everyday allowing people to download songs for free, keeping aside the laws and regulations. According to the Copyright Act, 1957 any person or an entity who knowingly infringes the copyright in a work in punishable with imprisonment for 6 months to 3 years along with a fine of Rs 50000 to Rs 2 lakh. The copyright of any musical piece is held by the recording company. Due to lax enforcement of the law, the sites holding copyright infringed materials are running at full flow. Some of the famous sites are songs.pk, downloadming.com, beemp3.com etc. With a rough estimate of nearly 100million songs downloaded every year, piracy is taking deep roots in our country. Along with downloading, easy sharing of these songs via Bluetooth, email or peer to peer sharing sites is adding to the loss incurred by the music companies.
Recently Calcutta High Court passed an order directing ISP’s to block 104 music sites, a move welcomed by the music recording companies. With growing number of mobile phones and mp3s and free availability of the songs of one’s choice, watching people with earphones plugged in their most of the times in no more a rare sight.
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