IPRS: A relentless guardian

In another of its proactive ventures, the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) has cracked down on popular singer Arijit Singh. Recently, Arijit Singh, the singer popularly known for the hit song ‘Tum Hi Ho’ from the movie, ‘Aashiqui 2’, was to perform a gig in the Chitrakoot Stadium at Jaipur. The organizers had, however, not obtained a license, prior to the performance, from the Indian Performing Right Society Limited. Under copyright law, it is mandatory to obtain requisite licenses from the appropriate owner or a copyright society managing an owner’s copyrighted work before allowing the live performance or any other use of the work.

The IPRS is a registered and recognized copyright society under the Copyright Act, 1957. Functionally, it more specifically acts as a representative body for owners of music, lyricists and composers and manages copyrighted works of its members. As a part of the contract between the IPRS and its members, the IPRS also issues licenses to allow public performances of copyrighted works including musical works and collects royalties on behalf of its members. In view of the same, IPRS has claimed that, prior to performance of a copyrighted song, a valid license needs to be obtained from the owner of the copyrighted song or a copyright society that collects on behalf of the owner, in this case, the IPRS. If no valid license is obtained, it would constitute of a copyright infringement under the Copyright Act, 1957 and would make such an infringer liable under the penal provisions prescribed by the Copyright Act, 1957.

Accordingly, upon this claim by the IPRS in respect of this infringing act by the organizers, the Delhi High Court issued a notice ordering the organizers to pay a sum of Rs. 80,000 before the show concludes. Further, it was also ordered by the Delhi High Court that a representative of the IPRS would attend the show to list down the songs/musical works that were performed during the show and to take count of the actual crowd turnout as part of the process.

In addition to serving this notice on the organizers, the Delhi High Court further held the venue equally responsible for leasing out the space to the organizers for the performance without verifying if requisite licenses under section 51 of the Copyright Act, 1957 were obtained.

This goes on to show the IPRS’s relentless and proactive actions in ensuring that the rights of copyright owners who are its members are diligently protected from violations. Simultaneously, these actions send out a strong message to both organizers of shows as well as venue owners to beware and be mindful of copyright laws before authorizing any performance of any copyrighted work.

Source: From here

Image: From here.

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