Madras High Court Upholds New Copyright Act Establishing Synchronization Rights for Music Owners

Industry Watch | January 11, 2017 | News

Sony Music Madras High Court

While we are awaiting further hearing and a clear order from the Delhi High Court on the ongoing EEMA Vs Union of India & ORS case on Music Licensing Jumble, the Madras High Court has recently passed an order regarding mandatory prior approval from music right owners before synchronization songs with visuals for TV broadcasts, Advertisements, Film, Internet Podcasts & Videos, and Live Events.

Also Read: Understanding EEMA's & PPL’s Points of View on the Ongoing Legal Case of Music Licensing

The Madras High Court passed this judgement on December 12, 2016 after Sony Music challenged a leading Chennai based television network - Raj TV, where the latter was found guilty of using several songs by the music label without prior approvals. Honorable Justice M.M. Sundresh after hearing arguments from both parties, passed a permanent injunction restraining the channel from using Sony Music copyrighted work with immediate effect and issued an order upholding the new Copyright Act establishing synchronization rights from music owners, wherein any party will now need to seek prior approvals from music rights owners before marrying (synchronization) songs with visuals.

A copy of the order is available on the Madras High Court website. 

Speaking on the judgement, official spokesperson from Sony Music commented, "This important order validates the rights that have been given to music creators and owners and will go a long way to ensure a fair economic balance between the creative community and the larger broadcast and internet organisations."

It is believed that the decision will help lyricists, composers and music labels claim payment for the usage of their copyrighted work.

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