Section 31 D of the Copyright Act, 1957 has been the bone of contention on many occasions with regard to issuing statutory licenses and the scope of broadcasters. In simple words, Section 31D  of the Copyright Act 1957 states that any broadcasting organization that wishes to communicate sound recordings, literary or musical work to the public may be allowed to do so by obtaining a statutory license after giving prior notice and payment of royalties to the owner of the copyright at rates that are decided by the IPAB.

At this juncture, we must not forget to remember the Tips v. Wynk case wherein the intent of Section 31D was scrutinized, resulting in the provision being interpreted (or should we say misinterpreted) to exclude internet broadcasting within its purview. We have seen even Spotify scrambling to invoke the Statutory License under Section 31 D.

However, the Music Broadcast Ltd. and other “radio” broadcasters” have filed an application to invoke this Section once again. In furtherance of the same, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) issued a Public Notice dated September 18, 2020, calling all “interested” parties to send in suggestions with regard to fixing royalties to communicate Sound Recordings to the public by broadcasting through Radio with 30 days of such notice.

The important details of the notice have been simplified in the table below.

Why was the notice issued? IPAB must fix royalties for broadcasting through radio and has sought suggestions as a result of applications made by Music Broadcast Ltd. and other “radio” broadcasters.
Who can send in suggestions? Owners of Copyrights, any broadcasting organization, radio broadcaster or any interested persons.
How can the suggestions be sent? No specific medium listed hence suggestions can be sent the following ways:
1. Writing an email to the IPAB at


2. Send in your written suggestions via post to the following address:

Intellectual Property

Appellate Board,

G-62 to 67 & 196 to 204,

August KrantiBhawan,

BhikajiCama Place,

New Delhi – 110 066

When is the last date? Suggestions can be sent in within 30 days from the date of notice (Notice being dated September 19, 2020)


It would be interesting to see what suggestions “interested” parties such as internet broadcasters including Wynk and Spotify, would have. Could this be a chance to legitimize the Office Memorandum issued by the Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion that included “internet broadcasting” under Section 31 D? We will have to wait and see.