Indian weddings literally host the best type of weddings. Sangeet is the most important part of modern weddings in India. It is a time where your entire family dancing for the music right before the day of the wedding. It is one of the best times for the bride and the groom and their entire family, right before the marriage when everyone resembles true happiness. But what if I told you this happiness comes with a price of
infringing copyrights. The Copyright Registry on August 27, 2019, released a public statement that contains a much-awaited clarification regarding the public performances and sound recordings being played during the marriage ceremony and in sangeeth. And the verdict is alarming.
Weddings in India are generally considered to be a celebration of a sacred union between two people and in general which proves to be an extravagant affair for the parties. Ceremonies will always be conducted in a much grander fashion with extremely good services, bright colored lights all over the place and musical processions all around. Usually the neglected detail about playing an already pre-recorded sound recordings by way of any medium during these ceremonies, as per the
Copyright Act 1957, which always had been to consider that any violation of the copyright subsisting the owner’s work, until now. When a person, without acquiring proper license by the owner of the
copyrighted work to use his work at any place and yet the person uses, it is considered to be an infringement of the owner’s copyright on this basis the music/pre-recorded songs that are being played in events/parties/hotels/social functions, etc., for any sort of commercial purpose, one needs to obtain the proper license at a particular tariff from the Indian Performing Rights Society Ltd. (IPRS), which will give exclusive authority over the public’s performance rights. This provisional laws basically act as a safety net for the owners who have gradually suffered due to their losses amongst the others who are also performing it in various other events, when their work is simply being performed or broadcast without the owner’s prior permission or knowledge. However, the Act doesn’t fully reflect the rights directly on to the owner of a musical work, by the way of providing certain very important exemptions where the
infringement must be construed as an innocent. The performance of the literary work, dramatic or musical work or the communication of the public of such work or of a specific sound recording in the course of a bona fide religious ceremony or any official ceremony held by the Central Government or the State Government or any local authority is not considered to be an infringement. With respect to Marriage procession and its associated or added festivities are included in the section of “religious ceremonies” for a clear understanding of the provision and as per the new notifications by the Government, it is clear that IPRS will grant a Free of Cost License (FOC) for such requests. It is said to be fair use if you are using the literary work within an enclosed hall which is meant for the common use of residents in any such residential premises, as a part of this amenities it gets provided the exclusive rights to broadcast and mainly for residents or as a part of the activities of a
non-profitable club or similar organization which is not established or conducted for profit. This is as per the guidelines which are issued by the IPRS. Commercial establishments such as hotels, banquet halls, lawns, etc. They are usually not given the permits to perform the music publicly by any medium without proper licensing and without paying a royalty fee for the usage. The tariff varies for A Class cities such as Mumbai, Delhi/NCR, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad/Telangana, Goa, Ahmedabad, Pune, Chandigarh, Jaipur, and Udaipur and for other cities it only depends on the hotel’s type and it’s luxury level. Although this new notification by the government is welcome to add, the situation is still in a big haze. The Cost-free licenses are provided only for indoor ceremonies, where the provision is turned down when that
wedding’s processions are majorly held outside, with hotels and banquet halls as their prime choices. Moreover, the obligation of obtaining such licenses solely falls on which type of party is the music going to be used in, with either option contradicting the spirit of the recently issued notification. Due to some confusions, a proper clarification was required from the part of the Government which will put the argument to rest once and for all and defining the boundaries of Section 52 with respect of the public performance of the sound recordings and it is set to be issued by the government very soon.