| 30 May 2024
HC clarifies that granting music licenses is not exempted from Section 30 of the Copyright Act

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court issued a ruling regarding Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL) and Novex Communications Pvt Ltd, stating that, despite not being registered as a copyright society, they can legally pursue claims of copyright infringement.

Justice Riyaz Chagla emphasized that the granting of licenses falls under the scope of copyright owners' rights. The dispute centered around whether PPL and Novex are exclusive copyright owners, allowing them to prevent infringement. The court clarified that if they prove exclusivity, the defendants must be restrained from copyright violation.

The suits involved PPL and Novex filing against establishments playing their copyrighted songs without obtaining licenses. The court rejected the argument that these entities couldn't issue licenses without being a registered Copyright Society.

Senior counsel Darius Khambata highlighted the comprehensive ownership rights conferred by the Copyright Act, stating that all rights available to owners extend to assignees.

The court dismissed the distinction drawn regarding individual licenses and the business of granting licenses, asserting that Section 30 of the Act empowers owners to grant licenses, unaffected by Section 33(1).