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Sushree Dash
| Updated: 23 May, 2022 | Category: Music

IPRS License: When and How to Obtain it?

IPRS License

IPRS License stands for Indian Performing Right Society Limited License. The IPRS License is to provide legal protection for the people in the music industry in place of IPRS members, who can be Music Composers, Music Lyricists, and Publishers from the Music Publishing Companies for collecting Royalties for Music Users. After the payment of required Administrative Costs of IPRS, the Royalty is then be accumulated and allocated to the necessary person or company.

  • Music Composers are also categorised as Music Directors;
  • Music Authors are also categorised as Music Lyricists;
  • Music Publishers are also categorised as Music Companies or people who acquire the Publishing Rights of the Musical and Literary Works.
  • The Music Composers and the Music Lyricists, either or both, are also categorised as Music Writers.

Administrative System for Obtaining IPRS License

IPRS Limited Society was formed on 23rd August 1969, which acts as a representing body for members that belong to the Music Industry with the authorisation for issuing IPRS Licenses for using any Musical Work Literary Music Work in India. The Administration and the Policy of IPRS fall under Governing Council of Directors that are appointed by Members of IPRS via General Meetings held annually. These members include Music Authors, Music Composers and Music Publishers. The Council of IPRS is represented equally by Music Publishers and Music Lyricists. In all the other regions of IPRS, the Music Composers and Music Lyricists are represented equally. The current Chairman appointed of the Governing Council is Mr Javed Akhtar, the Music Lyricist.

The IPRS Society operates by providing Licenses via its Registered Offices. The Registered Corporate Office of IPRS is located in Mumbai. The branches of IPRS are located in –

  • Kolkata
  • Delhi
  • Chennai

The IPRS runs its administration by following the IPRS Distribution Rules / Scheme and Methods enacted via IPRS along with the applicable Indian Laws.

When is an IPRS License Granted?

Due to the unclarity of the Laws of Copyright in India, there was also unawareness among the people, even from the Music Industry, resulting in a lack of acknowledgement of the importance of the Ownership Rights, the importance of Copyright, Performing Rights, Licensing Fees, etc. IPRS was established for the purpose of advocating and to spread awareness of the Legal Rights of the people in the Music Industry.

Anyone taking advantage of IPRS works is expected to get an IPRS License. According to the Copyright Act, 1957, the advertiser or coordinator of a live event which includes public execution of music, the proprietor responsible for the premises at which the exhibition happens, and Music Performers themselves have an obligation to the proprietor of any Copyrighted Music Content that is utilised. The IPRS Society doesn’t license Music Performers. Still, it requires proprietors owning the responsibility of premises at which music is openly performed or the advertisers of Music Events to get licenses preceding taking advantage of IPRS works. IPRS License is likewise expected for the exhibition or with correspondence to the public in general consolidated with music during live occasions. Also, platforms which use music, for example, FM radio, TV telecasters, internet web-based, OTT stages, telecom and mobile players who are using music, are expected to get a License from IPRS in regard to its collection of Author’s Royalties with eminence to IPRS in regard of IPRS members only.

Purchasing a copy of any Music work does not entitle the owner of that particular copy with a grant to perform the work in public. The same also applies to owning a copy of any commercial recording or a piece of the Musical Work.

The IPRS License covers all the licenses approved in writing with a minimum charge in full compliance with the Copyright Laws, 1957. The licenses covered under IPRS Licenses are Music Performances, communicating to the public via music, Broadcasting of Music, Streaming of Music, or any other means, either wired or wireless, where there is the usage of music.

In specific situations, ‘grants’ are given for the utilisation of the collection or of explicit works for Music Performance or at a short series of exhibitions of Music Performances.

An IPRS License is vital for the usage of any Copyrighted Music at any Music Performance open to the public or with correspondence to the general public and under its influence, no matter what the idea of the diversion or the sort of premises at which the Music Performance happens, it is independent of whether a charge for affirmation is made.

Critically, with regards to licenses, it is vital to take note that IPRS doesn’t give licenses in relation to the assortment of part “Royalty Right”, which means “if the Publisher/Owner isn’t an individual from IPRS”, however, Music Authors and Music Writers have to pay for the charges applicable.

Application Procedure for IPRS License

Below mentioned are the procedure to apply and register for an IPRS License –

  • Firstly, the applicant must select the specific category required for the music license.
  • The filling process can be done offline as well as online. The applicant has to fulfil the submission of the required documentation, which depends on the specific category they are applying for the license for.
  • The following categories are needed to be fulfilled by the applicant –
  1. Full Name of the Applicant
  2. Full and correct Address of the Applicant
  3. Contact Details of the Applicant
  4. Email ID of the Applicant
  5. GST Applicable
  6. Login ID and Password created via the official IPRS Website
  • For the purpose of verification, the Applicant will be sent an OTP via SMS.
  • The Applicant is required to then pay the entirety of the required Governmental Fees either online or offline.
  • After the payment of fees is completed and is registered, the IPRS issues an “Introduction Letter” for the Applicant that can act as a verification document showcasing that the registration is updated in the IPRS Database System.

Cost Applicable for IPRS License

The cost applicable for IPRS License varies based on the specific category required for the music license being fulfilled by the applicant. But to get a general idea, the license fee usually is of INR 1.50 per square feet, and the minimum required Royalty under the Tariff is of INR 50,000.

Penalty for any Violation Occurred

Section 63 and 63 A of the Copyright Act, 1957[1], states the punishments applicable for any person or business or entity for non-completion of the required Registration Process in accordance with the Copyright Society and proceeding to conduct Performances under Section 51 of the Copyright Act, 1957, which is mentioned below –

  • Imprisonment of the offender for a minimum of Six Months which can extend of up to Three Years.
  • The applicable fine for the offender will be a minimum of INR 50,000 which can extend of up to INR 2,00,000.

If the offence is noted to be repetitive in nature, then –

  • Imprisonment of the offender for a minimum of One Year which can extend of up to Three Years.
  • The applicable fine for the offender will be a minimum of INR 1,00,000 which can extend of up to INR 2,00,000.

Conclusion

Owning a copy of a Published Music does not give the owner the entitlement to perform or play the music in public. They only have the entitlement of the right to use the owned copy of music within their domestic circle where the Performing Rights are not applicable and cannot be operated.

The IPRS Limited Society is a Company that issues Licenses for both Live Performances and or any Performance mainly used for Commercial Purposes, etc., conducted via Mechanical Devices, for example, FM Radio, TV Sets, Juke Boxes, Record Players, or any other Musical Devices. The IPRS License can be issued for multiple varieties of categories such as large outdoor or indoor based premises that can include cinema halls, clubs, Concert halls, hotels, etc.

Read our Article:Different Types of Online Music License

Sushree Dash

Sushree Dash has completed BBA-LLB with a specialization in IPR Laws from KIIT University. As a recent graduate, she has both legal and management internship experience in international law firms, Indian law firms and under Indian litigation. She secures good drafting skills for various legal documents in multiple fields of law. She has also published multiple research papers in reputed UGC approved international journals.

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