The Bombay high court, on Thursday, asked the Stage Performance Scrutiny Board to withdraw one of its circulars that sought to de-recognise the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) and directed auditoriums to lodge criminal complaints against the IPRS if it insisted on No Objection Certificates for live stage performances.
The division bench of justice PB Majmudar and justice Mridula Bhatkar also asked the IPRS to consider withdrawing a letter it issued that threatened legal action against auditoriums, if they did not insist on an NOC before allowing live performances based on copyrighted songs.
The suggestion came after IPRS counsel Sandeep Marne pointed out that it would be difficult for the copyright society to protect rights of its members by monitoring shows organised across the country. “The IPRS would no longer remain a copyright society; it would become a litigation society,” Marne said.
The court then asked assistant government pleader Ranjit Bhosale to find out if the Board was willing to withdraw the circular. A final decision is likely to The IPRS, the sole copyright society in India with over 2,500, members approached the high court challenging the circular issued by Stage Performance Scrutiny Board on August 10, 2011.
The IPRS argued that the Board is unconnected with copyright issues and has no authority to issue such a circular. The circular stated that for a stage performance across the state, only a suitability certificate from the Board was required.
The circular also advised auditoriums to lodge FIRs or written complaints to the Board if any stage performance was obstructed by the copyright society.