Bombay HC directs New Year Parties across India to pay for music and play!

The Bombay High Court (HC) has directed 495 establishments pan India that includes prominent hotels, bars, cafes and resorts across the country to pay a licence fee to Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), for playing their songs in the new year event, at their premises. There were 16 suits filed by PPL, against these 495 establishments.

The vacation bench of Justice Bharati Dangre was informed by PPL that it had bought the rights of sound recordings from music companies and hence a fee was payable to them. PPL was represented by senior lawyer Mr. Kevik Setalwad. Mr, Kevik claimed that in the event of the licence fee not being paid, their rights would be prejudiced and it would result in infringement of copyrights.

To its claim, PPL produced a copy of an agreement to showcase how major record labels like Super Cassettes (T Series), Saregama, Sony Music, Universal Music, had granted PPL the ownership to collect license fees for public performance, basis under relevant sections of the Copyright Act.

In the closure, the vacation bench at the HC instructed the respondents to deposit an amount towards the licence fee payable to PPL. This pan India HC order is a huge relief for copyright owners and ensures that every user play’s music by the rules!


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