No licence, no music during New Year parties, says Bombay HC
Commercial establishments are required to obtain two types of licences, one for playing copyrighted songs in background in the premises & another for events like New Year, Christmas
In a series of orders issued against individual establishments in December 2022, the Bombay High Court has restrained the use of copyright-protected sound recordings of Phonographic Performance Ltd. (PPL) without licence by commercial establishments like hotels, resorts, lounges, pubs, clubs and bars.
The recent court orders assume great significance, as the order applies to all usage of music including ones being played in public places on New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and any other events or in the background throughout the year.
The eighty-year-old establishment PPL India is a music licencing company that control/ owns on ground performance rights of more than 350 music labels controlling over four million domestic and international sound recordings in several languages.
The commercial establishments are required to obtain two types of licences, one for playing copyrighted songs in background in the premises throughout the year and another for events like New Year, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Holi or corporate events.
GB Aayeer, MD & CEO of PPL India said, “The music copyrights are very expensive world over where the investments by music companies run into several billions and trillions to make and acquire music. The licence fee that PPL seeks from the establishments who are using its music is very nominal and are based on rationalised or published tariffs. Even though in India, music plays an essential part on every occasion, many people have a mindset of not paying for its usage resulting in huge loss not only for the rightful owners, but also for the entire creative community. PPL has no other alternative but to seek relief from courts against the adamant infringers.”
In Pune, 61 hotels and nine pubs and bars have already taken PPL licence for annual background usage amid plans for New Year in process, said the license holding company.