In a recent paradigm shift regarding the status of
internet broadcasting companies, the Department of Industrial
Policy and Promotion (hereinafter referred to as "DIPP")
vide office memo dated September 5, 2016 gave directions to
liberally interpret sections 31D and 2 (ff) of the Copyright Act
1957 (hereinafter referred to as the 'Act'), so as to
include internet broadcasting companies within the ambit of the
Section 31D of the Act is one of the most important provisions
of the Act, as it deals with compulsory licensing. Even though the
terminology used in the aforesaid section reads as "Any
broadcasting organization desirous of communicating to the
public...", a close reading of the entirety of the
section reveals that this provision (which was introduced by way of
the 2012 amendment) is largely directed towards TV and radio
broadcasting companies. This is reiterated by a reading of clause 3
of section 31D, which reads as – "The rates of
royalty for radio broadcasting shall be different fromtelevisionbroadcasting and the
Copyright Board shall fix separate rates forradiobroadcasting and television
This Office Memo issued by the DIPP is of considerable
importance to the online broadcasting community. This is bound to
have a significant impact on activities like online live streaming
of various media, although the effect of the same is yet to be seen
in action. One very clear cut inference that can be drawn from this
memo is that now various rights holders of media, like music, might
have to approach the Copyright Board for fixation of royalties.
This represents a paradigm shift between music right holders and
internet broadcasting companies, as it at least theoretically
decreases the balance of power between the two sides mentioned
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This article enunciates the recent, much awaited, and landmark judgment delivered on September 16, 2016 by Hon'ble Delhi High Court throwing light on the important provisions of the Copyright Act, 1962.
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion recently issued an office memorandum pursuant to receiving representations from various stakeholders for guidance with respect to the applicability of the provisions of Section 31D of the Copyright Act, 1957.
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