DETERMINATION OF ROYALTIES FOR STATUTORY LICENSE OF RADIO BROADCASTING – Eshwars
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DETERMINATION OF ROYALTIES FOR STATUTORY LICENSE OF RADIO BROADCASTING

On 22nd September 2020, Intellectual Property Appellate Board(IPAB) released a public notice, which can be accessed on https://copyright.gov.in/Documents/PublicNotice43_1.pdf   wherein IPAB informed all the stakeholders its intention to fix the royalties for broadcasting of the sound recordings through radio and has invited suggestion for the same within 30 thirty days of the publication of the said notice. The notice was issued pursuant to Section 31D of the Copyright Act 1957(“Act”) read with Rule 31 of the Copyright Rules 2013. Section 31D deals with statutory licensing for broadcasting of literary and musical works and sound recordings and enables broadcasting organisations to broadcast or perform any literary or musical works and sound recordings by issuing a prior notice of such intention to broadcast the said works and by paying royalty to the rights holder, as fixed by the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB). This public notice was issued by IPAB subsequent to the application filed by the radio broadcasting organisations – Music Broadcast Ltd, Entertainment Network India Pvt Ltd, DB Corp Ltd, Next Radio Ltd, Digital Radio(Mumbai) Broadcasting Ltd, South Asia FM Ltd, Reliance Broadcast Network Ltd(“Applicants”) before IPAB seeking the fixation of royalties to be paid to various copyright holders under Section 31D of the Act. In this context, it is pertinent to note that the erstwhile Copyright Board vide an order 25th August 2010 (“CB Order”) fixed the royalty for radio broadcasting to be 2% of the net advertisement earning of each FM radio station accruing from the radio business from that radio station to be distributed to the content owners on a pro rata basis and this CB Order is due to expire on 30th September 2020. Hence, the radio broadcasting organisations had filed applications before IPAB seeking an extension of the CB Order contemplated hereinabove and for the various  copyright holders such as Tips, Eros, Saregama, etc., to maintain the status quo of the CB Order until the fixation of royalty and the final disposal of the applications filed. The IPAB vide an interim order dated 18.09.2020 has ordered maintenance of status quo of the CB Order and has further stated that the royalty rate fixed by the Copyright Board after the final disposal of the application shall operate retrospectively with effect from 1st October 2020.

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