Friday, 29 September 2017

Internet Broadcasting Organisations to come within the ambit of statutory licenses

Section 31D of the Copyright Act, 1957 of India was introduced vide an amendment to the Act in 2012 which provides for Statutory licence for broadcasting of literary and musical works and sound recording. Section provides that any broadcasting organisation desirous of communicating to the public by way of a broadcast or by way of performance of a literary or musical work and sound recording which has already been published may do so subject to the provisions of the Section.

Various stakeholders raised queries as to whether ‘any broadcasting organisation’ includes internet broadcasting organisations as well or only includes conventional media such as radio or TV.

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Copyright Section) has, vide office memo dated 5.9.17 clarified that ‘any broadcasting organisation’ shall include internet broadcasting organisations as well. In clarifying the above, the authority made reference to the definition and meaning of the term ‘communication to the public’ and observed that the same means and includes any media. 

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