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Will Delhi have a silent night to ring in the New Year?

cities Updated: Dec 29, 2015 07:45 IST
Avantika Mehta
Avantika Mehta
Hindustan Times
Delhi New Years

New Year celebrations for Delhiites might a more quieter affair than usual because of a HC injunction that prevents venues from playing copyright music.(AP Photo)

For the capital’s social butterflies, this year’s New Year’s eve may be a damp squib, or rather a quiet one, as a Delhi high court injuction restrains venues from playing music owned by various companies including Yash Raj films, Zee music, and UTV.

Justice Valmiki J Mehta had last week allowed a plea for an injunction to be filed against Park Hotels and other establishments in the Delhi high court from allowing copyright music being played. The plea was filed by Novex Communications Limited, the licensed owner of copyright for music and sound recordings of Yash Raj films including blockbusters like Piku and Mary Kom among others.

“Once the plaintiff is the owner of the copyrights, the defendants (Park Hotel) cannot use the work unless the necessary license is taken,” said the court.

The suits were filed against 18 hotels including the Lalit, Jaypee Vasant Continental, lights camera action, J W Mariott, Hilton Garden Inn, The Same Place, Radisson Blu, Hyatt Regency, Le Meridien, Radisson Blu MBD, The Ashok, Shangrila Eros, Jaypee Siddharth ,Ramada Gurgaon,Piccadily Hotel, Eros Hotel and Westin hotel.

As per Novex’s petition, the company owns copyright of sound recordings and music of 71 films, and separate events licenses are required to use the copyright materials on special occasion.

“Delhi is home to a very large class of consumers with money to spend during the festival season. The owners of all sorts of high-end venues including all the city’s hotels and high-end restaurants, malls, pubs, discos and other such venues do not fail to cash in on the commercial potential of this period,” said the suit filed by advocates Jaya Savla, Shilpi Chaudhary and Ketan Ranga.

It added that defendant’s use “sound recordings” of (Plaintiff’s) songs for the entertainment of their guests continued “despite numerous letters and reminders (that they) failed to obtain the requisite license/permission from them for the same”.

The court had given the hotel till December 26 to settle the matter with Novex, but the company says no settlement has been forthcoming so far.

Oddly enough, a representative at the Park hotel told Hindustan Times that the hotel was unaware of any high court injunction against them. “We are having a Bollywood themed party at our hotel in the venue Mantra,” the representative added.

To this, a Novex spokesperson said, “The court had ordered them to settle the case in seven days. If they fail to do so, the injunction will remain, barring them from playing the music. They have neither settled nor approached us and hence there is an injunction against them. Even after this (if) they are playing our songs, it could be contempt of court and legal action will be taken against them accordingly.”