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Copy right

(Querist) 13 June 2008 This query is : Resolved 
Is IPRS indian performing right society is authorized to collect licence fee for playing music in Shopping Malls and what is santity of this...has govt. authorized them or they are collecting money on behalf of their members....what type of music can be played in shopping malls whithout paying licence fees
amit gupta_lawyer (Expert) 13 June 2008
The Indian Performing Right Society Limited is a Company Limited by Guarantee and Registered under the Companies Act ,1956. It is a Non-Profit Making Body. The Society is Registered as the Copyright Society under section 33 (3) of the Copyright Act, 1957 and is permitted to commence and carry on the Copyright Business in Musical Works and/or any words or any action intended to be sung, spoken or performed with the Music.

The Society came into existence on 23rd August 1969. In its initial years it faced a lot of difficulties. Even the Copyright situation in the country was not clear, there was confusion over ownership of Rights as also acute lack of knowledge and information among not only the Users of Copyrighted Material, but also amongst the owners themselves. IPRS thus waged its way through these difficult times and managed to keep the fight for a better Copyright Environment alive.

In 1990 , the Society underwent a change in leadership and direction and was able to forcefully get its proposal for a change in certain provisions of the Indian Law changed. It played a very vital part in the current Amendments to the Copyright Act of India. The Society is a very active member of the Copyright Enforcement Advisory Council set up by the Ministry of Human Resources Development , Government of India to advise the Government on Copyright Issues and is also a member of the CISAC and the CISAC Asia-Pacific Committee.

IPRS today is a very active Society in the Indian Copyright field. As regards collection, unlike in the past where it used to collect & distribute and remit only International Royalties, it has now started collecting even for Indian Music. IPRS has been instrumental in clarifying the Ownership of Musical Rights in India through continuous dialogue with related Industry Associations. With the result that Today the Ownership of Music Rights (not only Performing & Mechanical Rights) in India is a well settled issue.

IPRS, now being the Registered Copyright Society in India for Musical Works, all Copyright Business in relation to Musical Works is to be administered and controlled by it. The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 permits only 1 Copyright Society in one class of works. Thus, IPRS is the Society for Musical Works.

What is an IPRS Licence ?

The Society grants blanket licences for a moderate annual charge which enables the holders thereof to comply with the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957. These Licences authorise the public performance, broadcasting, or diffusion by wire of any of the millions of works which the Society controls on its member's behalf as well as on behalf of the members of its affiliated Societies throughout the world.

In certain cases 'permits' are issued for the use of the repertoire - or of specific works - at one performance or at a short series of performances. The Society's licence is necessary for any public performance of the copyright music under its control regardless of the nature of the entertainment or the kind of premises at which the performance takes place and irrespective of whether a charge for admission is made.

Who needs an IPRS Licence ?

In terms of the Copyright Act, the promoter of a public performance, the owner of the premises at which the performance takes place and performers themselves all have a responsibility to the owner of any copyright material that is used. Generally speaking, the Society does not grant licences to performers but to the responsible proprietors of premises at which music is publicly performed or to the promoters of musical entertainments not covered by such Licences.

Just as a purchase of a copy of a play that is in copyright does not entitle the purchaser to perform the play in public, so also the purchaser of a copy of a piece of music or of a commercial recording, does not entitle the purchaser to perform in public the Musical Work embodied in the copy or recording. It merely entitles him to perform the work in h

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