The Copyright & Design Section operating under the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India by Public Notice dated July 24, 2023 has addressed concerns surrounding the alleged collection of royalties by Copyright Societies for musical performances and sound recordings during marriage functions.

These concerns primarily center around potential infringements of Section 52 of the Copyright Act 1957, which precisely delineates specific actions that do not constitute copyright infringements. Notably, within Section 52 (1), clause (za) pertains to the performance and communication of literary, dramatic, or musical works, including sound recordings, to the public during genuine religious or official ceremonies organized by government authorities.

In the context of the aforementioned clause, a “Religious Ceremony” encompasses not only events of a religious nature but also extends to include marriage processions and other social festivities related to marriages. These occasions are also recognized as exempt from copyright infringement under the provisions of the Act.

In light of the potential violations identified, the DPIIT has issued a directive to Copyright Societies to exercise utmost diligence in refraining from activities that may violate the provisions of the Act.

Additionally, the general public is cautioned to remain vigilant and avoid acquiescing to any unwarranted demands made by individuals, organizations, or copyright societies that are found to be in contravention of the Act.

Through collaborative efforts and adherence to the prescribed legal framework, a balance can be achieved that honors the rights of creators while safeguarding public interests in enjoying creative works during various social and religious ceremonies.

By promoting compliance, the DPIIT’s directive aims to pave the way for a thriving creative ecosystem that mutually benefits both copyright holders and the general public.

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