Are you playing it Safe? Court encourages settlement in a music licensing case.

In the present case, Plaintiff, Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), sought an order restricting Defendants, Neb Sports Entertainment Private (Neb Sports) who organize sporting events nationwide. PPL asserted copyright over public performance of sound recordings by virtue of assignment. It alleged that Neb Sports had been utilizing the copyrighted works without obtaining any license. Neb Sports refuted the claims and contended that it did not play songs or music at any sports events. Furthermore, it added that the sports event had various stalls put up by the sponsors, and the music most likely originated from one of the stalls. Hence according to Neb Sports, even if infringement occurred, the responsibility for the same lay with the sponsors and not the Defendant.

Upon analyzing the contentions of both parties, the Court acknowledged the difficulty in organizing large-scale public events and orchestrating the involvement of numerous participants and sponsors. Neb Sports expressed its intent to resolve the matter and ensured the Court to introduce measures to comply with copyright laws at such events. Pursuant thereto, PPL also expressed its intent to amicably settle and sought an undertaking from Neb Sports that it guarantees the removal of unlicensed copyrighted works from all its events.

Hence, in light of these developments, the Court encouraged both parties to engage in direct discussions and put efforts towards an amicable resolution.

Citation: Phonographic Performance Limited vs Neb Sports Entertainment Private & Ors, Delhi High Court, 28 March, 2024,  CS(COMM) 249/2024, I.A.6719/2024, I.A. 6723/2024.

Authored by Ms. Ilana Baruah, Innovation, Consulting & Strategy Team

Reviewed and confirmed by Ms. Kavya Sadashivan, Innovation, Consulting & Strategy Team


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