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Salim Merchant names YRF, T-Series as companies denying royalties to composers

The composer said he and Sulaiman Merchant had refrained from working with Yash Raj Films for the last four years for this very reason.

Our Correspondent

The Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) on Tuesday lodged a first information report against Yash Raj Films for alleged unauthorized collection of royalties amounting to over Rs100 crore belonging to composers and musicians.

The society reported that the production house had "prevented the body from collecting royalties from telecom companies, radio stations and music streaming platforms by pressuring artists into signing illegal agreements".

Now, music composer Salim Merchant has come forward to name YRF and T-Series as two companies indulging in this act.

In an exclusive interview with The Quint website, Merchant said, "Yash Raj has been collecting money on behalf of the composer and lyricist — that much I know — but I don’t know whether they have paid anyone. They have certainly not paid me and Sulaiman."

The composer is one half of the Salim-Sulaiman duo, who worked with Yash Raj Films on some important projects like Chak De! India (2007), Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year (2009) and Band Baaja Baraat (2010).

In the interview, Merchant went on to say that Bhushan Kumar's T-Series is the other company guilty of the offence. He said, "It’s Yash Raj and T-Series, these two companies have not been paying."

The IPRS has filed its FIR with the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police. The FIR claims that YRF prevented the society from collecting royalties on behalf of the composers and did not distribute to the composers the amount the company had collected on their behalf.

In another interview, veteran composer Sameer Anjaan had also accused both production houses of sitting on the royalties of performing artistes.

The IPRS is currently pursuing the matter against YRF alone. So far, the production house has not responded publicly to the society's complaint.