Under the Copyright Act 1957, a license called the Public Performance License must be obtained to play pre-recorded music in public places, irrespective of the establishment being commercial or non-commercial in nature. The establishments include – hotels, bars, gyms, cafes, restaurants, shopping malls, taxis and airplanes and non-commercial places like concerts, college campus, festivals, fetes, etc. All these establishments are obligated to obtain the license from the authority established by the Government of India that is Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) India.
Under the Copyright Act 1957, the government has made it mandatory to obtain a performance license, entertainment license, and a PPL license to play the drums, music, recorded audios-videos in public areas.
The PPL license grants permission for the playing of pre-recorded music on television, radio, telecom companies to organisations. For playing background music or in events including special events like concerts, dance floor, stage, and even for brand promotion activities, shows, etc. a separate license by the PPL has to be obtained by the general public, organisation or individuals.
If there is the unauthorised playing of pre-recorded music in public places without a license, it amounts to a non-bailable and cognisable offence.
The purpose of PPL is to grant a license to the copyrighted sound recordings for radio broadcasts and consumers. Hence this license is required for performing in public of any song that was not written by the performer. This license is also required for playing recorded music in public places like restaurants, clubs, concerts on the radio, or streaming online. The license is required irrespective of the portion of the song being used.
While PPL license is needed only for events/public places where recorded music is played, the license issued by Indian Performing Right Society Limited covers copyright license for all Musical and literary works.
The Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS) is a representative body of artists that includes music owners, lyricists, composers, and publishers of music. The work of IPRS is to collect a royalty on behalf of its members that is the authors, composers, and publishers of music from the users of music and distribute it among the members after deducting the administrative costs.
The IPRS was formed on 23rd of August 1969. It is a non-profit making organiszation and a Company limited by guarantee registered under the Companies Act 1956 which is now Act of 2013.
The IPRS is also registered under Section 33 of the Copyright Act, 1957, to issue the license for usage of music and literary work. The registration of IPRS under the Copyright Act is necessary to represent rightful ownership of copyright. IPRS performs the business of issue of license as per section 30 of the Copyright Act, as it is the owner of copyrights through the assignment deeds executed with its members, who are the owners and have assigned the rights to the society.
The license obtained under IPRS has different tariffs depending on the premises and the usage of the musical work. The tariff based on-premises is charged on the basis of the area of the premises like restaurants, malls, cafes, pubs. These tariffs are based on the specified criteria.
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