Photo Credit: http://www.wallpapersfreedesktop.com/
One of the major concerns related to traditional knowledge contained in systems like Hindustani music is the fact that the internet not only empowers musicians to disseminate their music widely on terms that are favourable to them, but that it also gives unhindered scope for collectors to make public hitherto unpublished recordings on a variety of social media platforms. In many cases, these collectors, whether or not connected with established organisations, become instant purveyors of traditional knowledge, without so much as seeking the permission of performers before making these recordings publicly available.
Unfortunately, such methods have also been adopted by reputed institutions that declare themselves as promoters of traditional knowledge. The music from their archives that had until recently been largely inaccessible due to their proprietorial stance, has all of a sudden reached various net-based platforms. Once again, these recordings are now in public domain without any permissions sought from the performers and original copyright holders. In fact, in many cases, these recordings were made without the express permission of the performers and copyright holders, obviously in contravention of the law.
To address these and related contentious issues, a two-day conference was held in November 2009, in Mumbai. The panelists included leading legal experts in the field of Intellectual Property Rights, musicians, composers, archivists, among others.