The High Court of Delhi on November 10, 2021, issued a public notice, inter alia inviting suggestions regarding the revision/fixing of royalties for communication of ‘sound recordings’ to the public by way of broadcast through Radio under section 31D of the Copyright Act, 1957 and Rule 31 of the Copyright Rules, 2013. The said order can be accessed from the Delhi High Court’s website at http://delhihighcourt.nic.in/writereaddata/Upload/PublicNotices/PublicNotice_SIGLWQIP4Z3.PDF.
Revision/fixing of royalties for communication of ‘sound recordings’
The background/ context of the said notification is the ongoing matter no. C.O.(COMM.IPD-CR) 14/2021 and other similar matters before the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi, wherein various radio broadcasting organizations had filed petitions with the Hon’ble Court, inter alia seeking revision of statutory license rates under Section 31D of the Copyright Act, 1957, read with Rule 31(9) of the Copyright Rules, 2013, for broadcasting sound recordings. In these cases, the Respondents were music recording labels as well as Copyright Societies (like the Indian Performing Rights Society Limited (IPRS). Pertinently, all these petitioners sought interim relief to seek continuation of the pre-existing rate of royalties as fixed by the erstwhile IPAB, till final disposal.
With this background, the public notice provides for the following:
- It informs all the interested parties (any copyright owner or broadcasting organization or radio broadcaster or any other ‘interested person’) regarding the Intellectual Property Division of the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi’s intention to revise/fix royalties for broadcast of sound recordings through Radio.
- It invites suggestions of all the interested parties in this regard.
- The interested parties may give suggestions in writing, with adequate evidence within thirty days of publication of this notice i.e. before December 10, 2021.
- The suggestions are to be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thus, the above is a valuable opportunities to all relevant stakeholders/ interested persons to voice their views and concerns regarding statutory licensing, royalties, lacuna in 31D, etc.