Copyright Societies – sec (33-36) of the Copyright Act, 1957 – The Legal Lock


Intellectual property rights are the rights that are given to an individual for his or her creations in inventive, musical, filmography, scientific, etc fields. property could be a product of the human intellect or artistic minds. The scope of property is increasing in no time with the passing of every year. The term property has been recognized internationally through different kinds of laws such as patents, industrial styles, copyrights, trademarks, etc. The property of no matter species is sometimes found just like the intangible in copyright property. The law regarding property is predicated on certain basic Deas.

Like in copyright, the idea is predicated on originality, copy of the work, etc. Copyright could be a form of intellectual right the importance of which has accrued tremendously in recent times because of the speedy technological development in the fields of music, printing, communication, etc. Copyright can be in a form of right wherever the owner of a particular work enjoys the exclusive rights over the work that the person has created.

Copyright: a summary

The foundation of copyright law is that once someone with no permission from the owner, uses somebody else’s work for one’s profit, that the owner has created by labour, skill, or capital, then the law involves defending the rights of the owner. The copyright law prevents the exploitation of the proprietary work by the other person. In earlier days, the importance of copyright wasn’t thus current, as repeating or stealing of other’s work was toilsome and high-priced. However, with the invention of the press, the globe began to witness the copy of one’s work without permission. Therefore, the importance of copyright protection laws was recognized.

Copyright will be solely entitled to such original work. The term ‘original’ denotes any work that has been created with its labor and ability and is not derived from any other work. Work, so as to be entitled to copyright protection, needn’t need to pass any take a look at intelligence, smart or dangerous, etc. However, copyright isn’t entitled to any variety of plan. For example, if somebody in their mind themselves had thought of an inspiration, that he had sent to the other person, which person has incorporated that concept within the material kind, then the one who has created the add the fabric kind is going to be allowed to own protection and not the person with an inspiration. Copyright protection is also not on the market for any live events, or on any such work that is against the law, defamatory, seditious, etc.

In India, copyright laws are expressed beneath the Copyright Act of 1957. Section thirteen of the Act mentions such works within which copyright subsists.

What is referred to as a copyright society?

Copyright societies will be remarked as a legal body whose object is to safeguard or safeguard the interests of householders of the add that copyright subsists. The functions of a copyright society are to grant a license of the copyright in original work for the copy, performance, supply copies of the work to the general public, find infringement of the copyright, and initiate any legal proceedings if needed.

Evolution of copyright society

Prior to the commencement of the Copyright ﴾Amendment﴿ Act, 1944, Section thirty-three to Section thirty six accustomed to traumatize the playing rights societies. This society is accustomed to persevere the business of supply or granting licenses for the performance in the Republic of India of any add that is copyright subsisted. However, the compass of such a society’s power was restricted to the sphere of literary, dramatic, musical work. In 1994, once the commencement of the Copyright ﴾Amendment﴿ Act, 1994, provisions regarding copyright societies were expressed within the same Act.

Reason for the event of copyright societies

It has been typically ascertained that the authors of artistic works do not appear to be business-minded, or are inquisitive about monetary resources and are typically liable to the exploitation of their work. for example, if the Associate in Nursing author has created a clever piece of writing, then the author may get a financial profit by reproducing copies of his work and marketing them to the general public at giant. However, this can only be potential if the work is accredited to a publisher. it’s conjointly extraordinarily tough for the owner of the work to stop infringement of the work. At times, it’s been conjointly ascertained that they’re unable to stay track of all the others uses build of their work. Therefore, to beat such difficulties, homeowners of copyright works determined to create copyright societies to license their works for performance or communication to the general public. The societies are authorized to try to to such work supported payment.

Provisions for the registration of copyright societies

The provisions for registration of copyright societies are expressed in Section thirty-three of The Copyright Act, 1957. The Section states that no persons or bodies of persons or associations are allowable to hold on the business of supply or granting of licenses for any add that copyright subsists as mentioned in Section thirteen of this Act. However, those associations or bodies of persons or persons are going to be exempted from this provision UN agencies have registered themselves beneath Section thirty-three of this Act. The Section additionally states that the owner of any proprietary add his capability can still have the facility to grant licenses concerning his work with his/her obligations, if any, as a member of the registered copyright society. per this Section, any quite business of supplying or granting licenses in reference to the facet of literary, dramatic, musical, and inventive work incorporated in a very cinematograph film or recording can be distributed solely through a registered copyright society.

the acting rights societies below the previous provisions of Section thirty-three are deemed to be a copyright society if such societies had registered themselves under the new Section thirty-three of the Copyright Act. To register a copyright society under this Act, an Associate in Nursing application ought to be created to the registrar of copyright. The registrar can eventually forward the appliance to the Central Government. The central government can take a couple of issues so as to grant registration. The conditions are:

  • The interest of the authors and alternative house owners of rights below the Act.
  • Interest and convenience of the general public.
  • The interest of the category of persons WHO need to hunt for licenses in respect of relevant rights.
  • Capacity and skilled competency of these WHO apply.

The central government typically doesn’t register over one copyright society for one category of labour. If the central government feels that a copyright society is being managed to damage the interests of authors and alternative house owners, then they may cancel the registration of the copyright society. At times, the central government might suspend the registration of a copyright society throughout the suspension of a research for an amount of not extraordinary one year.

Provisions for the ability of copyright society

The powers of copyright societies ar mentioned in Section thirty-four of the Act. The Section states that:

A copyright society may settle for exclusive authorization of any proprietary work from the author and alternative house owners of such rights. By accepting such exclusive authority, they issue licenses or collect the license fees or each. An author or the other owner of rights may withdraw search authorization, while not injuring any rights of the copyright society below any contract. The copyright society may enter into an Associate in Nursing agreement with any foreign society or organization administering rights akin to rights below this act to entrusting to such a society in any foreign country the rights

administered by the same copyright society in India and the other way around. However, such a society shouldn’t discriminate in relevance to the terms of licenses or distribution of fees collected between rights in India and alternative works.

The Section states more bound powers of copyright societies. The powers are:

  • Any copyright society will issue a license below Section thirty.
  • Such societies will collect fees concerning licenses.
  • They can conjointly distribute fees among authors or alternative house owners, on condition that they’d unbroken the cash for his or her expenses.
  • They are conjointly allowable to perform the other functions under Section thirty-five.
  • Provisions concerning the management of copyright societies

According to Section thirty-five, each copyright society is subject to the collective management of the authors and alternative house owners of rights, whose rights are being administered by the society. However, foreign societies are exempted from this management.

The manner within which the copyright societies are being controlled are:

  • The copyright society must obtain the approval of authors and alternative house owners of rights for the procedure for assortment and distribution of fees.
  • They conjointly got to obtain approval from authors and alternative house owners for the use of any amount collected as fees.
  • They conjointly got to give full and elaborated data to authors or alternative house owners of rights, often concerning all the activities regarding administration.

The Section states more that each one of the fees that are needed to be distributed among the authors and alternative house owners of rights should be distributed in proportion to the particular use of their works. each copyright society should have an organization with members elective from the members of the society. Lastly, all members of copyright societies should have fancy equal membership and will not be discriminated against.

Provisions concerning the submission of returns and reports

According to Section thirty six, each copyright society should submit reports or returns to the Registrar of Copyright. The Central Government may appoint any officer WHO would be assigned to require and scrutinize all the reports of the copyright society.

Provisions concerning the rights and liabilities of acting rights society

As per Section 36A, the rights and liabilities of acting rights societies that had accumulated on or before the day before the commencement of the Copyright ﴾Amendment﴿ Act, 2012, won’t be stricten by something mentioned below Chapter VII of the Copyright Act, 1957.

Confusion among bound provisions

There can be Associate in Nursing ambiguity that arises within the mind of the individuals while reading Section eighteen in conjunction with Section thirty and Section thirty-three. Section eighteen of the Act states that the owner or author of any work has the proper to grant the copyright to any individual of his/her alternative. On the opposite hand, the house owners of copyright have the ability to grant a license under Section thirty of this Act. However, Section thirty-three creates a particular bar on the other person to grant a license except those that are registered as a copyright society under this Act. The Act doesn’t clarify this ambiguity within the statute, which results in confusion.


In case of Event and Entertainment Management Association v Union of India and others, (2010), the Delhi High Court held that Novex Communication Pvt. Ltd. which is not a registered copyright society under Section 33 can continue to operate its business within the ambit of Section 18 and Section 30. However, in the case of Leopold Cafe and Stores v Novex Communication Pvt. Ltd., (2014), the Bombay High Court banned Novex Communication Pvt ltd. and restricted its business to grant licenses. These two opposite judgments created confusion among the people. This issue of a conflict between the Sections had still not been resolved as such.


Megha Jains Megha Jains

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