In a landmark judgement, the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) has upheld the rights of the Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) and its lyricist, music composer and music publisher members, to claim royalties in respect of the broadcast of lyrics and music underlying sound recordings by FM Radio Stations in India.
The tribunal, headed by chairman Justice Manmohan Singh and technical members N Surya Senthil and SP Chockalingam, pronounced the judgement on December 31st, last year.
The judgment specifically recognises the rights of lyricists and music composers to claim royalties on the basis of the 2012 amendments to the Copyright Act, 1957.
The judgment also establishes separate royalty rates payable by radio broadcasting stations across India through 2021, in respect of sound recordings as well as literary works and musical works.
“This landmark decision has applied the law by recognising the rights of creators like lyricists and music composers to an equal share of royalty from the utilisation of the lyrics and music in any form,” said Javed Akhtar, chairman, IPRS.
He added that the judgment will benefit impoverished creators and their families as well as the entire creative community in India and internationally.
"We sincerely thank the honourable IPAB for its clear and unambiguous recognition of the rights of creators in line with the law and now hope that our colleagues in the radio broadcast sector can now move forward with the creative community in harmony in view of this judgment," Akhtar said.
The proceedings before the IPAB saw the participation of all major FM Radio companies, music companies and copyright society like IPRS to fix royalty rates for radio broadcasting under the statutory license provision of the Copyright Act, 1957.
“This Judgement is a fundamental game-changer which will pave the way for IPRS to deliver greater benefits to the creative community in India,” said Rakesh Nigam CEO, IPRS.
IPRS, a copyright society registered under the Copyright Act, 1957, represents the authors, composers and publishers of music. It counts more than 5,500 of India’s best-known authors, composers, and music publishers as its members.