Sonu Nigam
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Sonu: People here like to break laws

Sonu Nigam


New Delhi, Jan. 22 -- Singer Sonu Nigam, who has been a frontrunner in fighting royalty issues plaguing the music industry, blames the general Indian mindset for this sad state of affairs.

"I feel that people here like to break the law. The Indian mentality is to flaunt power, and that is what is happening when it comes to music royalty, too. The money that you make when you sing a song is like pension ... how can the production house enjoy the perks of it (when it is rightfully ours)," says Sonu, adding, "Is it fair that the people who have created a song are not involved in its profit sharing process?"

However, the 41-year-old, who has recently lent his voice to UNICEF's Imagine project, feels that the situation is slowly improving. "I can see gradual change, and people are becoming more accepting of these laws," says Sonu.

The singer, who is one of the members of the non-profit Indian Singers' Rights Association (ISRA), recently won a case in Delhi high court against a lounge that played recorded music without obtaining the required licence. "What I don't understand is that the royalty laws are so simple! They demand this added royalty (to be paid to singers) from the user, and not the production house. Even a child can understand this. I don't get why the production house should have an objection!"