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EEMA gets court stay against music licensing societies

The Delhi High Court on December 23 issued an injunction against music licensing bodies PPL, IPRS and Novex from granting licences as registered copyright societies

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | December 28, 2016


The Event and Entertainment Management Association of India (EEMA) has been working towards regularising and streamlining the music licensing regulatory framework for many years now. It has been engaged in a long, slow but constant legal battle against the exploitation by the so called ‘Registered Copyright Societies’ who charge ‘Royalty’ for music played out at events. There are cases going on in several courts by various associations and individuals against the malpractices of these so called copyright societies.

EEMA had recently filed a fresh writ in the Delhi High Court, highlighting that despite the fact that currently neither of the bodies issuing ‘licenses’ are Registered Copyright Societies – PPL / IPRS and Novex-- they still continue to be in the business of granting licences. The court took serious notice of the matter and issued an injunction in favour of EEMA, restraining all these parties from issuing licences unless they are registered under Section 33 of the Indian Copyright Act.

Ankur Kalra Ankur Kalra

Ankur Kalra, Secretary (Legal), EEMA, said, “The music licensing lobby (PPL / IPRS / Novex) has been engaged in illegal issuance of licences for over two years now and flouts all laws by openly threatening venues to stop events unless the licence is procured. Venues in turn pressurise event managers to do the same who despite knowing that it is wrong are forced to procure these licences to safeguard their events. The music licensing ‘societies’ today are private limited companies operating purely for profit and very little or no money actually reaches the artists. It has become an organised syndicate and when we highlighted the same to the court we got an injunction almost immediately. We will take this battle forward and ensure that all event managers, venues and police departments are educated on this matter.”

Abhishek Malhotra, Legal Counsel, EEMA, said, “The music industry has been going through a flux. While the law clearly provides that issue and grant of licences can be done only through a registered copyright society, these three entities have been effectively carrying on this business in violation of the clear legal provisions. This order as well as the government of India’s endorsement of the issues facing the users of music is a welcome development.”

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