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Musicians hope for solution to piracy, royalty issues

Ziaul Hasan

The audio market is full of new music albums, but hardly any of those attract audience due to the ongoing crisis between the musicians and producers. –Ali Hoosain MintuThe audio market is full of new music albums, but hardly any of those attract audience due to the ongoing crisis between the musicians and producers. –Ali Hoosain Mintu

The musicians in the country hope that this year will bring success in the industry which has been severely suffering from decline in sale of albums.
The musicians expect the government and production houses will help them solve the major two problems- royalty sharing and piracy- prevailing in the music industry so that they can survive and revive it by creating best music.  
Piracy can easily be controlled by releasing albums on ‘un-rewritable’ CDs and DVDs, said noted Nazrul singer Khairul  Anam Shakil, also the general secretary of Chhayanut. ‘I have seen abroad that the production houses record music in CDs that cannot be rewritten.  I believe that the production houses can apply the same process here,’ Shakil said. 
The vice president of Bangladesh Musical Band Association Foad Naser Babu, who is also chief of Feedback, suggests making holograms mandatory with albums.  Such action will not only control piracy but will also help to detect the frauds as both the musicians and producers will have clear idea about the number of total albums released,’ Babu said.
‘In such case, the government can introduce value added tax on the condition that it will strictly control the pirated albums,’ he suggests.    
Like other musicians, Babu is more concerned about the royalty issue. ‘The musicians get onetime payment before the release of an album. As done in the other countries, they don’t get share in the case of the successive editions or in case of reuse of any track in other business purposes,’ Babu said.
 ‘We must fix the proportion of profit of the album sale among the lyricist, composer, musicians, singer and producers. But, there is no specific regulation or law in this regard for which the producers are depriving the musicians,’ Babu added. 
Supplementing Babu, popular playback singer Andrew Kishore, who is also general secretary of Lyricists ’Composers’ and Singers’ Guild (LCS Guild), said, ‘Producers are directly involved with piracy. The existing copyright law must be executed to control it. Otherwise, musicians and music will be affected.’
Eminent Tagore singer Tapan Mahmud, also the founder general secretary of Bangladesh Rabindra Sangeet Shilpi Sangstha, demands immediate intervention from the government to solve the ongoing problems in the music industry of the country.  ‘The government can easily solve the problem as it did in case of the film industry,’ he said.
Supplementing Mahmud, rocker Maqsood Haq said, ‘I believe that our leaders will settle all the disputes immediately for a better future.
The owners of the production houses deny such allegation that they deprive the musicians and are also involved with piracy. Mazharul Islam, managing director of Laser Vision, rather claims that the musicians are well paid. ‘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.’ 
On the piracy issue Islam said, ‘It’s a baseless allegation. We are the worst victims of the piracy done through CDs and USB devices. ’
But, the music lovers expect the ongoing problems be solved immediately so that the music industry becomes vibrant again.




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