This post has been authored by Anamika Kundu, a fourth year student at West Bengal University of Juridical Sciences (WBNUJS), Kolkata. It discusses Section 31D of the Copyright Act (put year), introduced in the 2012 Amendment.
With the advent of smartphones and numerous interactive mobile applications, listening to music through apps have become a common phenomenon across the world. However, this has created a number of issues pertaining to intellectual property in various jurisdictions including India. Section 31D of the Copyright Act was inserted through the Amendment of 2012. The provision essentially deals with statutory licensing for radio and television broadcasting of literary and musical works as well as sound recordings. Broadcasters are required to pay royalties to the copyright owner, at a rate fixed by the Copyright Board. A broadcaster wishing to communicate published work should do so by notifying copyright holders in advance. This notice includes information such as the broadcast content’s length and coverage region. Because of the restrictions placed on parties from entering into commercial negotiations to determine royalty rates, there has been huge criticism of this provision. Moreover, the owners of copyrights too are not given any mechanism to negotiate the terms of royalty with broadcasting agencies, which appears to be in violation of Article 19(1)(g) of the Indian Constitution.