Musicians term production houses ‘cheats’Ziaul Hasan
Musicians officially blamed the ‘over profiteering approach’ of the production houses for the ongoing slump trade in the once vibrant music industry.
The Bangladesh Musical Bands’ Association known as BMBA and the Lyricist, Singer, and Composer’s association known as LSC Guild have officially raised the issue at a joint press conference at the Reporters’ Unity on Thursday.
Additionally, BMBA sent a press release at news organisations stating the ‘illegal trades of the production houses’.
The organisations have accused that the production houses have been cheating the musicians regarding the terms of royalty sharing and they even charged some of the production houses for music piracy.
Two years ago one of the noted band musicians James filed a case against a production house for breaching the contract of royalty sharing and in retaliation the production houses stopped releasing band albums, as a result, no major band album has been released since then.
‘Two years back James filed a case against one of the renowned production houses as the house breached the contract regarding the popular album Dukhini Dukkho Karona. However the musician and the house came to an agreement later and the charges were withdrawn,’ Robin, personal secretary to James, told New Age.
The eminent musician and the president of LCS Guild Alauddin Ali told New Age that the production houses are breaching international laws regarding royalty sharing.
‘They pay an amount of money before releasing an album but they reuse the same songs in mixed albums and compilation albums without informing artistes, let alone sharing royalty,’ Alauddin Ali said.
‘There is an international piracy law where it is said that the lyricist comes first, then the composer and lastly the singer when it comes to crediting a song. A song is an intellectual asset of the musicians while the production houses are only responsible for marketing and distribution,’ he added.
He also warned the production houses of taking legal actions, if needed. ‘We will take legal actions against those heinous businessmen who are destroying the industry for their own monetary gain,’ Alauddin Ali said.
Hamin Ahmed, another noted band musician and president of BMBA, revealed in a written statement that some music production houses are violating the rights of the artistes.
Ahmed also observed that it is the artistes who are victimised by the production houses.
‘Artistes get payment for once but the houses make profits for a long period through the hit albums. It never happens in other countries expect in Bangladesh, said the eminent composer and the lead member of Feedback Foad Naser.
However, when asked, the production houses denied the accusations. Mazharul Islam, managing director of Laser Vision, rather justified the practice of royalty sharing saying, ‘It’s the tradition in Bangladesh that artistes get remuneration once and the albums become the property of the producers as they invest for those albums and are also responsible for marketing them.’
In response to piracy issue he said, ‘We are the worst victims of the piracy done through CDs and USB devices.’
The government must take immediate steps to control piracy for the welfare of the industry, he added.
Regarding illegal compilation issues, Nazmul Haque Bhuiyan Khaled, owner of a leading production house G-series, claimed that the leading production houses generally do not release albums of compilations of songs.
‘If we do, we always take permission from the responsible artistes,’ he explained.
Despite the dispute between the musicians and the production houses, the music lovers of the country hope for the earliest remedy of the piracy and royalty crisis for a booming and prosperous industry.
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