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Copyright societies under wiggle of scrutiny

Copyright societies under wiggle of scrutiny

In a recent decision the country has witnessed another landmark development in the field of copyright. The Delhi High Court has this time pulled the strings of the copyright societies. The three copyright societies namely, the IPRS’s, Novex and PPL have been directed to refrain from acting against the violation of the Section 33 of the Copyright Act.

The provision of Section 33 of the Copyright Act discusses about the registration of Copyright Societies. It states that only copyright societies have the right to grant licensees as regards to copyrighted works. The copyright societies are the organizations which issues licenses on behalf of the copyright owners.

On investigation it came on the surface that the registration for two of the copyright societies has expired and one of them is not a registered copyright society under the Act. This issue was raised by way of a writ of mandamus by the petitioner directing the Union to conduct an inquiry into the affairs of such copyright societies. But the CEO’s of the copyright societies tried to turn around the verdict saying that the societies function under the Section 30 of the Act, so Section 33 is not applicable to them.

The verdict of the Single judge bench of the High Court has its implication as now there will be a pressure on the Union of India to resolve the issue with respect to the inquiries of the societies which they are unable to conduct within the stipulated period and it goes on for ages. This decision of the Delhi High Court will prevent the copyright societies from indulging into unscrupulous granting of licenses without having any statutory right to issue such licenses.

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