Hotels, bars, resorts to pay for playing music in New Year party in India
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Hotels, bars, resorts to pay for playing music in New Year party in India

The Bombay high court (HC) has directed 98 hotels, bars, cafes and resorts across the country to pay a licence fee to Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) for playing any sound recordings owned by PP during New Year’s Eve celebrations on December 30 and 31.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2018 10:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
music in new year,new year bash,license fee for music

The Bombay high court (HC) has directed 98 hotels, bars, cafes and resorts across the country to pay a licence fee to Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) for playing any sound recordings owned by PP during New Year’s Eve celebrations on December 30 and 31.

The bench has directed the respondents to deposit an amount with PPL towards the licence fee and after the completion of the event, calculate the actual amount accruing towards license fee amount.

The HC was responding to a petition filed by the PPL against these establishments. PPL had approached the HC seeking directions to the respondent to pay a license fee prior to playing sound recordings owned by them. The HC further directed the hotels, bars, cafes and resorts to record the proceedings of the event, to ascertain for how much time they played the sound recordings owned by PPL.

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

Some of the respondents had objected to the claims, stating that PPL was not the owner of the sound recordings and as the original owners had not made any demand, PPL’s claim could was not valid.

PPL, however, produced a copy of an agreement wherein the original owners had granted it licence on ownership basis under relevant sections of the Copyright Act. The agreement also elaborated that the license would be in force for the term and territory assigned therein.

After hearing all sides and perusing the copy, the bench said, “I am, prima facie, satisfied that the plaintiff is competent to initiate the said proceedings, since the plaintiff’s repertoire of sound recording is put to use without a licence.”

First Published: Dec 27, 2018 10:44 IST