| 28 Feb 2024
CISAC Robin Gibb: 'Court decisions in Mumbai and Delhi represents serious breach of Indian obligations under the Berne Convention'

International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) president and singer-songwriter Robin Gibb expressed his disappointment on Bombay High Courts ruling which are incompatible with international laws and treaties on Intellectual Property and artistic works.

About a year ago, I had issued a statement in support of draft changes being proposed to the Indian Copyright Act that would explicitly enshrine and better protect the rights of authors and composers. I am extremely pleased to see that some of our proposals have been incorporated into the amendments being sent for approval by the Indian Parliament in the coming sitting.

I am now compelled once again, to react to recent developments in India; this time to express my deep concern and dismay at being informed of two recently published decisions from the High Courts in Bombay and New Delhi. The Court's decision effectively held that when a composer or author agrees to have his musical work included onto a sound recording, he thereafter loses his exclusive right of public performance or broadcast to the producer when the sound recording is used for those purposes.

As an example of the consequences of these judgements, an FM radio station would thus have to pay royalties only to the collecting society representing the sound recording companies but not to the society representing the authors, composers and music publishers.

The court decisions represent a major and unacceptable regression in the copyright protection being granted to authors and composers of musical works in India.  They also represent a serious breach of India's obligations under the Berne Convention.  The implications are that the millions of dollars that foreign copyright societies have collected and distributed to Indian authors and composers would now be stopped by these two judgements.

On behalf of CISAC, I strenuously urge the Indian government to take immediate remedial measures to correct the wrong that will result from the outcome of these judgements.