IPRS secures injunction against Hello FM

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

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

The IPRS says that this order comes as a warning to all such establishments operating without a license that they are not above the law, and they will not be allowed to continue functioning. IPRS is a non-profit making company authorised 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.

IPRS adds that all users of music including radio stations, television channels 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 "

IPRS says that with the advent of the FM Radio industry starting in India there have been numerous Court Cases wherein the radio stations have tried to circumvent the rights of the Copyright Holders. However, the Hon'ble Courts in the Country have always upheld the rights of the Copyright holders.

Hon'ble 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."

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