Broadcasting Rights & Copyright Law – By Manit Sharma

Broadcasting organizations, such as television and radio, have been granted
specific ‘Rights of Broadcasting Organizations.’ In place of the original
section 37 of the Act, the Copyright (Amendment) Act of 1994 included a
new provision.

Section 37 currently gives every broadcasting organization a distinct right to
reproduce broadcasts called the “Broadcasting Reproduction Right.” The
‘Broadcasting Reproduction Right’ is valid for twenty-five years after the
broadcast date. If the following activities are carried out without the
permission or approval of the owner of the right (the Broadcasting
Organization) throughout the life of the Broadcasting Right, it will be
considered a violation of the ‘Broadcasting Reproduction Right.’

As performers and broadcasting organizations operate as mediators or
links to communicate the works of writers to the general public, their rights
are sometimes referred to as neighboring rights or related rights. These were created in tandem with the Copyright Act. The Copyright Act was only
updated in 1994 to provide artists with some rights. In India, the notion of
performers’ rights was defined by the 1994 Amendment. According to the
Copyright Act of 1957, a “performance” is someone who performs a literary,
artistic, dramatic, or musical work by acting, singing, playing an instrument, dancing, or in some other way. 1 A person whose performance is accidental or incidental in nature and is not acknowledged anywhere in the film’s credits, save for specified purposes, should not be considered as a performer in a cinematograph film. A “broadcaster” is someone who produces a radio or television broadcast with the consents necessary by law. A “broadcast” is any communication to the public by wireless dispersion, including re-broadcast, in any one or more of the forms of signs, sounds, or visual pictures; or via wire. Actors, musicians, singers, and dancers’ visual or acoustic performances are an important element of the creative process, and those who showcase their abilities via artistic performances should be entitled to certain rights as well as a portion of the profits from their commercial exploitation. However, the rights of performers were not recognised worldwide until 1961, when the Rome Convention was adopted. This international pact sought to protect performers against unlawful broadcasting of their performances without proper recompense. As India is a party to the Berne Convention and the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights, copyright protection is extraterritorial. Indian law does not need copyright registration in order to get protection.

Importance of Broadcasting
Technology advancements have revolutionized the procedures for
transmitting live coverage, inspiring many individuals to join in the amazing fun of exhibiting significant live events. The link between broadcasters and performers/producers has been enhanced by copyright and other associated rights, particularly those connected to broadcast. Nowadays, media companies pay broadcasters a large quantity of money to get exclusive rights to broadcast major events. The sale of broadcasting and media rights has become a prominent and substantial source of revenue for most organizations in order to earn finances. These revenues might be used to fund live events, performers, décor, and music equipment, among other things.

The royalties that broadcasters receive from selling their exclusive video to
other media outlets enable them to make more and more money, allowing
them to invest in the costly structural organization and technological
equipment required to set up a broadcasting space.

Judicial Pronouncements

The plaintiff, The Gramophone Company of India Ltd., created audio records named “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” under rights allegedly issued to it by Rajshree Productions Pvt Ltd., the cinematographic work’s copyright owners. “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” has already sold 55 lakh audio cassettes and 40,000 compact CDs. The plaintiff claimed that the defendant had also released an audio tape with the title “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” with a design, color scheme, outfit, and layout that was deceptively and confusingly identical to the plaintiffs’. As a result, they requested a permanent injunction prohibiting the defendants from producing, selling, or passing off audio cassettes bearing the aforementioned title.In this case, an ex parte injunction had previously been obtained. The defendants were not to use a design, color scheme, layout, or get up similar to that of the plaintiff in the carton or inlay car or any other packaging material, and not to use in the title the words “Hum Aapke Hain Kaun” simpliciter or any other combination of the above words that would be calculated to lead to the belief that the defendants record was the plaintiffs record. The defendant was also ordered by the court to include beneath the non-offending alternate title a declaration in suitably large characters that the
song is not from the original sound track but rather a remix by other
musicians. The word ‘not’ has to be highlighted.


The views are that of author’s own and not necessarily the views of IPTSE Academy. This blog is a platform for academic discussions and hence authors have been given flexibility to convey their thought process.


Manit Sharma
1st year Law student
Institute of Law

Nirma University
Ahmedabad, Gujarat 


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