1. Copyright Societies are collection of individuals to manage the copyright work of its members.  They are required to disclose all important information on their website for functioning in an equitable and transparent manner.
  2. Persons holding interest in a class of work may join together to register a society.  Such an application is to be filed before the Registrar of Copyright, who after due satisfaction, may submit the application to Central Government.
  3. Authors of literary and musical work whose work is included in a cinematograph film are entitled to receive royalties on an equal basis for utilisation of work other than with a cinematograph film in a cinema hall only through such society.  Similarly, for the literary and musical work which forms part of sound recording, the royalties can be received through such Societies.
  4. The registration is renewable after five years.  The Central Government may cancel the registration for non-compliance with the objectives of the society,
  5. The society will grant licenses to prospective licensees on behalf of its members.  Regarding the Copyright work which is managed by the society, the owner can license the work only to the extent it is not consistent with his obligations as member of the Copyright society.
  6. The Copyright society is required to publish Tariff scheme for the benefit of prospective licensees.  Tariff scheme thus provides a transparent mechanism in a uniform manner to all the stake holders and the licensees.  Any person who is not happy with the tariff scheme can approach the Copyright Board, now the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, seeking revision.  The Board, after hearing parties may pass appropriate orders.  The tariff scheme shall mention the rates for different categories of work, different media of exploitation, different durations, geographies of use etc. 
  7. The owner of a work may grant exclusive right to the society for administration by an agreement.  The owner is at liberty to withdraw this authorisation at any time.  However, the author will be bound by all contracts entered on its behalf by the author during the term of authorisation. 
  8. The society is required to pay royalties to authors and owners on the basis of exploitation of their work.  A society cannot offer minimum guaranteed royalties to any author or owner.  The fees are subject to revision with advance notice of at least two months.
  9. The licensees are required to pay their fees in advance as per the Tariff scheme.  A part of the revenue is to be used for welfare activities of the members.
  10. Such societies can seek to exploit the work outside India through another society in a foreign country and also mange rights of the foreign society in India. 
  11. The Copyright society shall collect royalties on behalf of the members, distribute it amongst the authors and owners of work and deduct its expenses.  The members are entitled to detailed information on the management of their activities and financial status.
  12. Copyright Societies shall give equal treatment to authors and owners of work in distribution of royalties or terms of license.  Such distribution is to be done in a transparent manner on the basis of actual exploitation of work.  There should be no cross subsidisation in payment of royalties to members.
  13. Copyright society is required to call for Annual General Meeting every year here important resolutions are passed.  The management is through a Governing Council of members. 
  14. Copyright society is required to file Annual report to Registrar of Copyright on its functioning.  This renders the society accountable and the records open for public to ensure that rights of authors and owners of work are protected.
  15. As per the Copyright Office, the following are the registered copyright societies in India:
  1. For musical works: The Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS),www.iprs.org.
  2. For sound recording: Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), www.pplindia.org.
  3. For reprographic(photo copying) works: Indian Reprographic Rights Organization (IRRO), www.irro.in.
  4. For performers(Singers) Rights: Indian Singers Rights Association (ISRA)-  www.isracopyright.com.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.