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Government includes Internet broadcasting under Copyright Act

Now, music companies such as T-Series, Tips and streaming websites have to approach the copyright board to decide royalty on songs. Copyright Act now covers online streaming too.

  • Updated: September 7, 2016 8:47 AM IST
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In a move that will benefit audio streaming websites such as Saavn and Gaana, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has brought Internet broadcasting under the copyright law. Government has decided to include Internet broadcasting under the purview of the Copyright Act, a move that is said to benefit the music entertainment industry.  Under the earlier provisions, ‘broadcasting organisations’ mainly covered raido and television. “The provisions of section 31D (of the Copyright Act, 1957) are not restricted to radio and television broadcasting organisations only, but cover Internet broadcasting organisations also,” the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) said in an office memorandum. Also Read - Internet down: Zomato, Paytm, Disney+ Hotstar, Amazon, Myntra, many other global services suffered massive outage

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It said representations have been received from various stakeholders as to whether the Internet broadcasting companies come under the purview of statutory licensing as per the provisions of Section 31D of the Act. This section talks about statutory licence for broadcasting of literary and musical works and sound recording.  “These representations were examined in consultation with ministries/departments concerned,” it said. Also Read - Mobile internet services suspended on Delhi borders till February 2

Now that the Internet broadcasting has come under the copyright law, media analysts say that, this will help artists and audio streaming websites like Saavn and Gaana. Music companies including T-Series and Tips and streaming websites will need to go to the copyright board to decide royalty on songs. Prior to this, the internet broadcasting category did not fall under the Copyright Act. Music rights owners could decide royalties to be paid by streaming websites. They did not have to share revenues with artists.

Recently, the Bombay High Court has made it clear that one cannot be penalized for watching pirated content on the web. The court also clarified that selling copyright-protected material without necessary permission or public exhibition of such material would be punishable. The court has now asked the ISPs to drop the controversial and confusing line “viewing, downloading, exhibiting or duplicating’ a particular film is a penal offence” from the ‘error message’ on blocked URLs.

With additional inputs

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  • Published Date: September 7, 2016 8:30 AM IST
  • Updated Date: September 7, 2016 8:47 AM IST



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