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Abhay Deol attended the Screen Awards on January 14, with a black eye. Though the actor did not get the same from a fist fight, he said that it’s a sign of protest against music label T-Series for not releasing his film ‘One By Two’s’ music.
In fact Abhay posted on his facebook handle that he has since decided to take a stand against the practice of signing certain contracts that he claims may damage remuneration of singers and music composers.
In response to Abhay’s post and various other media reportage on the matter, President of Super Cassettes Industries Ltd. a.k.a T-Series, Neeraj Kalyan, released the following statement to clarify the record label’s stand on the matter…”After reading media stories on the music release of the film ‘One By Two’ we are compelled to issue this press release to clear the erroneous understanding and misconceptions being seeded in the media.
Viacom 18 represented to us that they own all the rights for the said film including its music rights free of any encumbrances. And based on their representation, warranties and indemnities, we acquired the said music rights from Viacom 18 solely based on their express representations with a clear understanding that they will share the link agreements with authors and composers to complete the chain of title.
Viacom 18 has assigned these rights to us and have further indemnified us against any claims or losses and thus the onus of providing a clear chain of title lies with Viacom 18. We fail to understand why we are being brought into this mess between the Right holder (Viacom 18) and the Producer (Mr. Abhay Deol).
None of our agreements are against the law (as is being painted in the media) and in-fact have been adopted by us after exercising due diligence and obtaining expert legal advice and are perfectly in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957 and the same cannot be said to be illegal in any manner whatsoever.
T-Series as a label respects and has always respected the rights of authors, composers and performers and has been regularly entering into agreements which are in consonance with the applicable provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957.
T-Series works, on a continuing basis, with most producers in the industry and in turn we expect that they would enter into agreements that are, on one hand, in compliance with applicable law, and which also safeguard our mutual interests.
We spend a considerable amount of our resources on acquisition of music as well as promotion of the music and the film and bear the entire risk of the commercial viability of the music which we acquire.
We are disappointed that baseless allegations are being made against us in an arbitrary manner completely disregarding our legitimate and lawful concerns as a music label.
We are well within our rights to call upon producers to provide us with appropriate agreements with composers, lyricists and singers as we cannot acquire any rights from a person who has none to begin with. In the absence thereof, we cannot be expected to release music when there is no clarity with respect to the rights granted to the producer.
Any person who expects a label to acquire rights without ascertaining the validity of such rights is clearly not a person who has any understanding of the industry or the legal provisions governing assignments of rights in music.
We have to always ensure that the rights that we are acquiring from the producer would enable us to exercise our rights as a music label and further enable us to provide the public at large with music. It is an undisputable fact that once we have acquired the rights from a producer, the only entity which is at risk is us. We are not willing to get bowed down by undue pressure and release music with fragmented / encumbered rights and infringe any rights of third parties in the process.
It is pertinent to note here that we have yet not received the chain of agreements from Viacom 18, however considering our longstanding relationship with the studio, we have gone ahead and invested considerable amount on the promotion of the music album on various media platforms and 3 songs from the film ‘One By Two’ are already live on our official YouTube Channel.
One should appreciate that the risk here is entirely ours and we are the ones who are losing out on the revenue opportunity. Our decision to hold back the release is primarily to safeguard the interest of Viacom 18 from any unscrupulous claims and infringement proceedings.”