Harmonizing Legality: The A to Z of Music Licensing for your Next Event!

Industry Watch | December 6, 2023 | Feature

Music Licensing Events and Entertainment Industry IPRS RMPL ISRA

As the year draws to a close, it marks not an end but the commencement of new horizons in the dynamic realm of the Events and Entertainment Industry. As the world buzzes with excitement from countless events and music festivals, we've curated a list of some that you would like to attend!


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The key of orchestrating such stellar concerts / events resides in securing the appropriate musical license—a veritable enchanting permit that guarantees the legal approval of the musical repertoire. This license is like an important agreement that makes sure everyone follows the rules about who owns the music. Without the proper legal approval, the concert might turn into a chaotic mess. Music license plays a crucial role as the conductor of legality, skillfully guiding the musical performance with finesse. 

List of oragnisations providing Music Licenses for events 

Types of Music Licenses 

1. Public Performance License

This license is the most common form of a license issued for broadcasting an artist's copyrighted work. This license is obtained by the businesses playing music in their jukebox or any kind of public-performance such as concerts.

2. Master License

The Master license is more complex than other licenses and is issued in conjunction with sync license. This license allows the holder of such license to use the pre-recorded version of the song in any audiovisual project but doesn't allow re-recording the song.

3. Mechanical License

The purpose of this license is to make artists’ creation available to the general public in the creation of CDs, publication of music online or any other form of distribution. The artist having copyrights of their work is paid for the agreement signed by them to allow the distribution or recreation of their original work. A mechanical license is needed even for making a slight change in original components such as remix, adding own lyrics, changing anything of the original composition, etc.

4. Sync License

Under this method, music already created is synced with some visual media. A broad range of users such as TV commercials, advertising agencies, film studios, etc. hold music licenses.

5. Print Rights License

A print license is an agreement between a music user and the owner of a copyrighted composition (song), that grants permission to rearrange, print, or display the music notes or lyrics of the song. This permission is also called print rights. 

6. Theatrical License

Theatrical rights refer to the rights that are received to exhibit films in cinema halls. The distributors buy theatrical rights from the film producers and make arrangements with the theatre owners to exhibit the films to the public. The theatrical rights are limited by predefined territories and for a period of time.

Procedure for obtaining Music License in India 

- Visit the Official Website and Click on the Required License 

For Music License Registration in India, one has to visit the official licensing organisation website that is IPRS website and PPL website. IPRS grants license for public performances or live performance and PPL grants license for pre-recorded music.

- Complete the Necessary Details

After selecting the category the applicant should create an online account on the website /portal of the organizations by providing necessary details such as the name, address & contact details, email id, and GST. After that online id will be created and inserted password after providing the required credentials.

- Select the Category

After visiting the official website of the required licensing organization, the applicant needs to choose the category of Music License as per the requirement. 

-Read the Terms and Conditions to Issue Certificate

After the successful registration, the licensing authorities will issue the Introduction Letter to the applicant that implies the applicant's registration of Music License.

Why one should obtain the Music License?

1. Compliance with Law

When a Music License is acquired by the restaurants it shows up with the business compliances. Whereas when any establishment is not obtaining this license would be penalised under the Copyright Act.

2. Public Performance

For public performances at restaurants, pubs or a venue, the IPRS music license is compulsory to hold on. Organising public performances would attract more crowds and this leads to an increase in the reputation of the restaurant. Live performance increases the reputation of restaurants as compared to the pre-recorded music.

3. Popularity

Through such licenses, the popularity of the artist gets increased by performing in the live shows as more public gets attracted towards such shows. Meanwhile the restaurant too gains popularity because of the crowd in the shows involved.

4. Copyright Protection to Original Artist

As the artist’s original creation is protected by the copyright act thus there are no chances of fraud with it. And complying with the copyright act compliances would protect the original content from distribution and reproduction.

Consequences / Penalties of not obtaining a Music License 

Furthermore, any entity or businesses who do not register with the respective Copyright Society or do any activity defined in Section 51 of are liable for punishment under Section 63 and 63 A of the Copyright Act[2].

As per section 63 of the Copyright Act, any person who infringes the copyrights or other rights is liable for a penalty as follows: Imprisonment for a period which is not less than six months which may be extended to three years. With a fine, which is not less than Fifty Thousand Rupees which can be extended to two lakh rupees.

Also, under section 63 A of the Copyright Act any person or entity who infringes the copyrights or any other rights and is a repetitive lawbreaker is liable for punishment as follows: Jail term for a period which is not less than one year and which may be extended to three years. Also, with a fine, which is not less than One Lakh Rupees and can be extended to Two Lakh Rupees. 

The realm of entertainment is undoubtedly enjoyable; however, its essence is incomplete without the requisite musical licensing, so Event Planners make sure to acquire a proper Music License for your upcoming events!

The key of orchestrating such stellar concerts / events resides in securing the appropriate musical license—a veritable enchanting permit that guarantees the legal approval of the musical repertoire.

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