By Hema Shekhawat and Shilpi Sharan
The Recorded Music Performance Limited (RMPL) is an organization that works to manage and license the public performance and radio broadcasting rights of its member companies. On May 22, 2018, RMPL had applied to the Registrar of Copyrights for its registration as a ‘Copyright Society’ that would function in the copyright business of ‘sound recording works’.
On June 18 2021, the Registrar of Copyrights has granted due registration to RMPL as a Copyright Society under sub-section (3) of Section 33 of the Copyright Act, 1957 with the Registration No. CS/03/SOUNDRECORDING/18. This registration allows RMPL to commence their work of licensing and managing copyrights.
Under the Copyright Act, a copyright society functions as a collective management firm, wherein it manages the interest of copyright holders and issues/grants license for such works. Copyright Societies are helpful and beneficial to individual authors and copyright holders as they provide an organizational structure for legal exploitation of copyright and for collecting royalties.
The RMPL has specified that the licenses issued by it are conditional, non-exclusive and can only be exercised for a limited period.
Although Section 33(3) of the Act states that ordinarily only one copyright society shall be registered to do business in respect of the same class of works, RMPL India is the second Copyright Society to be registered in the class of ‘sound recordings work. The first, was the Phonographic Performance Limited India which was registered as a copyright society from 1996 till May, 2014. The application for re-registration of Phonographic Performance Limited is pending before the Government. It remains to be seen whether this application would be affected by the registration of RMPL as a Copyright Society or not?,