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Registration under Section 33(3) of Copyright Act essential to administer license

28 July, 2014

The Bombay High Court on 26-6-2014  has held that only a society registered under Section 33(3) of the Copyright Act, 1957 (amended in 1994), can carry on the business of issuing and granting licenses. The plaintiffs (Leopold Café) had been served notices in respect of certain ‘public performance’ of copyrighted material by the defendant (Novex Communications).

The plaintiffs argued that as the defendant is not a duly authorised society, it cannot administer or grant license nor act on behalf of the right holders. One plaintiff was duly registered with TRAI and another held a license from Phonographic Performance Limited. The High Court opined that, prima facie, the action by the defendant was unlawful and granted interim injunction.
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