HC restrains Zee's unauthorised music telecasts

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New Delhi, July 18: The Delhi High Court has stayed the telecast of any song or musical composition inserted in the features or other serials being shown on Zee TV which is being used without obtaining permission or licence from its lawful owners.

The Indian Performing Rights Society limited (IPRS) and Phonographic Performance Limited(PPL) in a joint action approached the court to restrain ZEE Entertainment Enterprises Limited (Zee TV) from telecasting musical compositions without obtaining license from the owners of the literary works, sound recordings and musical works as this amounted to violation of the Copyright Act 1957.

Justice GS Sistani through the July 10 order directed Zee TV to stop the telecast of all programmes including the well-known talent show Saregama Challenge as all the existing lyrics and songs being shown legally belonged to IPRS and PPL.

The court directive debars Zee TV and their agents from reproducing, broadcasting or performing or any literary or musical works and sound recordings whose copyrights are owned by IPRS and PPL or those of foreign societies of IPRS till the next date of hearing.

IPRS and PPL were represented by a group of senior lawyers which include Mukul Rohtagi, Pravin Anand, Ameet Dutta, Himanshu Bagai and Shrawan Chopra who were able to obtain an interim injunction from the court.

Zee TV will either have to stop the broadcast of their programme 'Saregama Challange-2007'or will have to obtain a licence or both as this order highlights the upholding of the Copyright Act, 1957 and sends strong signals to the violators, Dutta said.

According to the provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957 all users of music including radio staions and television stations need to obtain a licence, prior to any usage of literary or musical works or sound recordings in their public performance, event or broadcast.

IPRS is affiliated to International Confederation of Authors and Composers (CISAC) the world Industry body of performing rights in musical works which represent 217 societies from 114 countries and indirectly represents more than 2.5 million creators with artistic repertories, music, drama, literature, audio-visual works, graphic and visual arts. It pays royalties to the creators and owners to carve out a future for them.

PPL is authorised since 1996 under Section-33 of the Copyright Act, 1957 to operate as a copyright society for sound recordings. It has more than 140 music companies as its members which include Saregama India, Sony BMG Music, Universal Music, Tips Industries, Venus Records and Tapes, Aditya Music, Times Music and others.

The companies want that the rights of the owners should not be violated and Zee TV can use all these works after paying the licence fee to the musical body.


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