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Landmark judgement passed on the rights of IPRS by IPAB

Shreoshree Chakrabarty January 5, 2021

Headed by Chairman Mr. Justice Manmohan Singh and Mr. N. Surya Senthil and Mr. S.P. Chockalingam as its Technical Members, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB), pronounced a landmark judgement comprising the expert tribunal under the Copyright Act, 1957 on 31st December.  According to the judgement, the Indian Performing Right Society Limited and its lyricist, music composer and music publisher members have the right to collect royalties from FM Radio Stations in India in respect of the broadcast of lyrics and music underlying sound recordings.

On the basis of the 2012 amendments to the Copyright Act, 1957, the judgment specifically recognises the rights of lyricists and music composers to claim royalties.

In respect of sound recordings as well as literary works and musical works, separate royalty rates have also been established in the judgement that is payable by radio broadcasting stations across India through 2021.

Under the statutory license provision of the Copyright Act, 1957, to fix royalty rates for radio broadcasting, the proceedings before the IPAB saw the participation of all major Music Companies, FM Radio Companies and Copyright Society like IPRS.

Welcoming the judgement, the Chairman of IPRS Mr. Javed Akhtar stated, “This landmark decision has applied the law by recognising the rights of creators like lyricists and music composers to an equal share of royalty from the utilization of the lyrics and music in any form. This judgment will greatly benefit impoverished creators and their families as well as the entire creative community in India and internationally. We sincerely thank the honourable IPAB for its clear and unambiguous recognition of the rights of creators in line with the law and now hope that our colleagues in the radio broadcast sector can now move forward with the creative community in harmony in view of this judgment.”

Mr. Rakesh Nigam CEO of IPRS stated that “This Judgement is a fundamental game-changer which will pave the way for IPRS to deliver greater benefits to the creative community in India. The team at IPRS is immensely gratified by the judgment and we are tremendously proud that IPRS was the only registered Copyright society representing the interest of authors and composers and music publishers before the honourable IPAB.”


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