Bollywood producers postpone strike; hope to resolve copyright issue

    MUMBAI: The Film Federation of India (FFI) representing production, distribution and exhibition sectors and the representatives of the various film industry bodies, met in Mumbai and decided to defer the All India Bandh (strike) of 6 January, 2011.
    Those present at the meeting were Mukesh Bhatt, Ramesh Sippy, Film Federation of India president T.P Agarwal, Film Federation of India vice president Dinesh Chaturvedi and Ashok Pandit.

    The strike was planned to protest against the anti industry attitude of the government. Various sections of the industry threatened a day-long strike on 6 January, 2011 to express their disagreement with the proposed Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010 that mandates producers sharing 50 percent of music royalties with lyricists and composers. 

    However, the decision to call off the strike was made after some members of the Indian film industry had a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday, 28 December, 2010 with senior leaders of the Congress & the UPA government, the Congress general secretary Ahmed Patel, I&B minister Ambika Soni and  HRD minister Kapil Sibal; where many of the long pending grievances of the film Industry were raised by the members of the Indian film industry. These included copyright amendment bill, heavy and multiple tax burden on the film sector, statutory radio licensing and royalty issues etc.

    The Senior UPA leaders have categorically assured the members of the film industry that the government is extremely concerned with the growing resentment in the film Industry across different regions & languages. The various film bodies including Film Federation of India and the Film & Television Producer’s Guild of India and Southern states representing various stake holders of the Industry from Pan India have been raising these issues with the government across a period of time.
    "The government has asked us to sit across the table and speak to the lyricists and the composers and come to a solution, which is fair and practical and without jeopardising the interests of both the parties," said Bhatt.
    "The government said they will not implement anything without listening to both parties. They said they are committed to the principle of justice. This is a very positive thing that has happened and we have now decided to postpone the strike till an undecided date. We are not here to fight, but our sustenance is threatened and therefore we want to have a positive word with the composers and find a fair solution," he added.
    Sippy said, “Before yesterday’s meeting, we had a sentiment of there being no other way out. However, now we feel the government is open to taking in account our point of view, and we are very happy that they are seeking justice for both sides, and not just pass a one sided law. We are hopeful of sitting down and resolving this issue.”