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No license Required for Usage of Copyrighted Audio Works in Marriage


The No License Required for Usage of Copyrighted Audio Works in Marriage and Social Events, The Copyright Office has been receiving queries seeking clarification as to whether a license is required to be obtained for the purpose of utilization of sound recordings in the course of any marriage related function. The office has addressed the same through its notice dated 27.08.2019 with clear clarification.

The Public Notice issued by Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade Copyright Office stated that “In view of the provision contained in Section 52(1) (za) of the Act, read with the explanation thereto, it is evident that the utilization of any sound recording in the course of religious ceremony including a marriage procession and other social festivities associated with a marriage does not amount to infringement of copyrights and hence no license is required to be obtained for the said purpose.”

Interpreting section 52 (1) (za) and the explanation provided therein, the Copyright Office has clarified that the fair dealing clause extends to such marriage and social ceremonies. The exception covers such marriage, social ceremonies, religious ceremonies as well as official functions conducted by the central, state or local governments and authorities.

Hence, in accordance with this, it has properly been clarified that no license needs to be sought in lieu of usage of copyrighted works for the said purpose. Earlier, IPRS has on its website, via a notification clarified that it does not charge any Royalty or License Fee for Events and Functions declared as marriage or certain social festivities connected with marriage, in accordance with this Fair Dealing provision under the Indian Copyright Act. Further, it has also been stated that on-demand of such royalty for such a marriage function for IPRS, an appropriate action might be taken.

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