IPRS secures injunction against Hello FM

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MUMBAI: The Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS) Limited secured an injunction against Hello FM Radio (Malar Publications Limited) on 15 November, 2006, from the Delhi High Court restricting the station from playing music without obtaining a license from the IPRS.

This order would technically mean that the Hello FM radio station would either have to stop broadcast, obtain a license, or both. Lawyers Praveen Anand, Ameet Datta, Bhagwati Prasad and Shrawan Chopra represented IPRS.

IPRS is a non-profit making company authorized under section 33 of the Copyright Act 1957 to operate as a copyright society for Musical Works and Literary works performed along with the Musical Works. It is a body that has more than 1500 members who are local composers, lyric writers and publishers and also represents international music.

All users of music including radio and television stations need to obtain a license for public performance whenever they broadcast or perform / play these literary and musical works. The license must be obtained prior to the event/broadcast else it is a violation of the Copyright Act, 1957.

IPRS CEO Rakesh Nigam said, “The consumption of entertainment is changing and so will the earning pattern of artists. Newer forms of entertainment need to compensate artists adequately. such ruling will set the correct bench mark.”

With the advent of the FM radio industry starting in India there have been numerous court cases wherein radio stations have tried to circumvent the rights of the copyright holders.

Justice Pradeep Nandrajog of the Delhi High Court has said in his order dated 15-11-2006, “Restrained the Defendants (Hello FM – Malar Publications Limited), their servants, agents, director, subsidiaries, and all other acting on their behalf from causing the broadcast or broadcasting / performing or communication to the public, literary and / or musical works of the Plaintiff Society or those of the foreign sister societies of the Plaintiff or broadcasting any works of the Plaintiff by any means without obtaining a license from the Plaintiff thereby amounting to infringement of the Plaintiff Society’s Performing Rights and communication to the public rights in the same.”