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News |  07 Mar 2014 20:14 |  By RnMTeam

Copyright societies still await approval of re-registration applications

MUMBAI: Last May, most of the copyright societies in India had sent a fresh set of applications in accordance to the Copyright Amendment Bill, 2012. The delay in the approval of application was followed by a set of reminders and conversations with the societies.

Copyright societies which are awaiting the responses include Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), Indian Performing Right Society Ltd (IPRS) and South Indian Music Companies Association (SIMCA). SIMCA joint secretary Rajesh Dhupad said, "Currently, we are not planning any form of new initiative as the pending application has diverted our attention and we are waiting for the approval since May last year." SIMCA was set up in 1996 to look after the common problems faced by the industry in South India. The membership of the association included those who belonged to the Indian Music Industry (IMI) or Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL).

Indian Music Industry secretary general Savio D'Souza also said, "There is no progress in the application. PPL have compiled the appropriate documents and submitted them to the Copyright board and we have no idea when the approval will take place. This delay has in no way affected the way PPL should function." PPL has been functioning as the Copyright Society for sound recordings of its member music labels.

IPRS CEO Rakesh Nigam said, "We are following the whole process closely and are waiting for the approval. This has not stopped us from functioning as a society and we are carrying on our responsibility."

Dhupad added that two months ago the association send a reminder to the board but has yet to receive a response. The anti-piracy unit of SIMCA - Cell Muzik which issues licenses to shopkeepers to conduct business legally, has been generating good revenue in Tamil Nadu but the delay in approval has slowed down this association from concentrating and developing initiative that would be productive to the southern music Industry.

As per sources, the discussion with various levels of ministry is in progress, in order to resolve the queries raised by the Board. With elections around the corner, the delay seems very obvious.

Even after repeated calls and series of numbers, no one from the Copyright office could give an appropriate reply as to when the application will be approved.In February 2014, a separate Copyright office and a permanent Copyright Board was set-up along with the unveiling of the logo of the Copyright Office and launched the web portal with e-filing facility for Copyright Registration. This was in order to provide better services to the authors, performers and creators of various works.

The Copyright Act, 1957 came into effect from January 1958 and the act was amended five times since then.

According to the Copyright website, registered copyright societies in India that is IPRS for musical works, and PPL for sound recording is awaiting their re- registration is pending. Meanwhile, Re-registration has been rejected of Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO) for non-completion of formalities as per the Rules. And Indian Singers Rights Association (ISRA) for performers (Singers) Rights has received approval on 14 June 2013.