Not too long ago, the Delhi High Court meted out a very important decision with respect to the status of IPRS as a copyright society. The suit was filed by Mrs Chitra Jagjit Singh (Plaintiff), wife of the late artist Mr Jagjit Singh and a popular artist herself, against IPRS (Defendant 1) for wrongfully issuing licenses with respect to her and her late husband’s copyrighted works.
It was pleaded by the Plaintiff that IPRS was no longer a copyright society, for which it presented a letter addressed to the Govt. of India by IPRS denying its copyright society status, within the meaning of Section 2 (ffd) and by virtue of the second proviso to Section 33A. Therefore,it could issue licenses with respect to the works of the Plaintiff as well as her late husband and by virtue of the Letters of Administration it was Chitra Singh who had copyright in the aforementioned works. Contrary to this however, IPRS was continuing to issue licenses with respect the aforementioned works , and had previously issued a license in favour of defendant No.2 for a concert held in Mumbai for which a fee of Rs.49,140/ was collected. The Plaintiff was not paid anything by IPRS or the Defendant 2 , the organizer, with respect to the Mumbai concert.
Defendant 2 was now advertising another concert which was to be held in Delhi titled Ek Ehsaas Jagjit Singh Live in Concert, stating the deceased artist “Sings again for Charity”. The counsel for the Plaintiff submitted that the advertisement was misleading as Jagjit Singh had deceased in 2011. It was also pointed out that the Plaintiff had instituted a suit against the Defendants with respect to the concert held in Mumbai. However, at the time the Plaintiff was not aware of the legal status the Defendant and the Court denied an injunction to the Plaintiff.
Taking into consideration the aforementioned facts the Delhi High Court in the current suit decided in favour of the Plaintiff restraining the Defendant “from granting any license in respect of the works of the plaintiff and of late Sh. Jagjit Singh and recover any license fee from any third party in respect of the said works.”
Authored by Anchita Sharma