India: Copyright 2.0 – Rules Governing The Act

Last Updated: 5 July 2019
Article by Sindhuja Kashyap


The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade introduced the draft Copyright Amendment Rules 2019 ("Draft Rules") vide their press statement dated May 30, 2019. This was introduced to adapt the copyright law in light of the technological advancement in digital era and to bring them in uniformity with other relevant legislations. The copyright regime is governed by the Copyright Act, 1957 ("Act") and the Copyright Rules, 2013 ("Rules"). The Copyright Rules, 2013 was last amended in 2016 and the present Draft Rules are open for objections and suggestions.

Key Highlights

In this Article we shall discuss the salient features of the Draft Rules as follows:

  • Shift from Copyright Board to Appellate Board

The Draft Rules proposes to replace the 'Copyright Board' with the Appellate Board which shall mean all the matters being presently handled by the Copyright Board shall be shifted to the Intellectual Property Appellate Board and the members to be appointed shall be as per the provisions of the Trade Marks Act, 1999. This proposal comes in compliance to Section 160 of the Finance Act[i].

  • Digitization

Notice for various applications were required to be served on the owner of the copyright or such other person by registered post. However, the Draft Rules brings about a medium of serving notice through electronic means as well. Further, all grant of licenses and such other permissions or information as were required to be notified in the official gazette are now required to be published on the website, thereby making it more public friendly. The Rules required the copyright societies to maintain the registers in physical format at their registered or administrative office. However the Draft Rules proposes that every copyright society shall maintain the registers in physical or digital format.

  • Copyright Societies

Earlier, a copyright society was required to be registered by the Central Government within sixty days from the date of receipt of the application by the Registrar of Copyright. However, such a strict timeline is proposed to be deleted in the Draft Rules, leaving the Central Government with a capricious timeline to keep an application for registration pending for approval.

Further, following functions of copyright societies have also been amended by the Draft Rules:

- Tariff scheme

Draft Rules proposes to amend Rule 56, dealing with tariff scheme wherein while the Rules required the copyright society to follow the guidelines issued by any Court or Board and consult the user groups if required while determining the tariff, the Draft Rules has brought in additional guideline of considering the following:

  1. Cross-sectional tariff comparisons
  2. Economic research
  3. The nature and scope of the use of the work
  4. The commercial value of the rights in use
  5. The benefits to licensees

Further, in case of an appeal against a tariff scheme, the Draft Rules do not provide for any interim tariff to be determined or paid by the appellant pending disposal of the appeal.

- Annual Transparency Report

Every copyright society is mandated to hold a general body meeting and certain documents to be placed during the same. The Draft Rules had introduced a new document called the 'Annual Transparency Report' ("Report") which is required to be placed before the general body meeting and has been dealt in detailed in Rule 65A, a new insertion by the Draft Rules. The copyright society is required to draft a special report for each financial year within six months following the end of that financial year, which is mandated to be published on their website for public review for at least three years. The Draft rules provide for list of disclosures and information mandated to be made part of the Report. This is the first time, copyright society have been brought under direct scrutiny of the public and an attempt to create a transparent system has been made.

- Royalty distribution

Copyright societies are responsible for collection and distribution of royalties on the basis of the tariff schemes. The Rules had for long failed to determine the process and dealing with the undistributed royalty as collected by the copyright society and the same has been rectified by the Draft Rules. The Draft Rules mandate the copyright society to keep such royalties that could not be distributed in a quarter, to the authors or other owners due to them being not identified or located, in a separate account. Further, the copyright societies have an onus to ensure necessary measures in determining the author and owner are taken and the relevant information of the same are published on their website at the end of every quarter. In case the royalty due to the author and owners remains undistributed at the end of the period of three years calculated from the end of the financial year in which collection of the royalty was completed, the Draft Rules mandate the copyright society to refund such amount to the licensee within three months. It is pertinent to note, any such refund does not limit the right of the author or the owner to claim such an amount from the copyright society or the licensee within the limitation period as applicable to such civil proceedings.

- Voting Rights

Each member of the society was provided with equal voting rights in general body meeting. However the Draft Rule proposes a change in the voting rights which are determined and applied in a fair and proportionate manner on the basis of one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Number of works and rights or set of rights authorised by the owner
  2. Duration of the membership
  3. Amounts received or due to a member
  • Performance

The Rules provided that for the purpose of Performers' society and performer's rights, performance included recording of visual or acoustic presentation of a performer in the sound and visual records in the studio or otherwise. However the inclusive definition of performance has been done away with by the Draft Rules and is left for a wider interpretation. It would be interesting to note how the same shall be interpreted by board and various courts in future.

  • Statutory Licensing on Internet Broadcasting

The Draft Rules have arrived right after the decision by the Bombay High Court in the case of Tips Industries Ltd vs Wnyk Music Ltd and Anr[ii] wherein the Court had clearly stated that statutory licensing under Section 31D of the Act is meant only for radio and television broadcast and excludes internet broadcasting. Further the Court also rejected the Office Memorandum issued by the Central Government[iii] wherein internet broadcasting was interpreted to be covered in Section 31D. This case was discussed in detail by us.

The Draft Rules have attempted to replace the broadcast from being limited to radio and television and has extended it to each modes of broadcast in rules 29, 30 and 31 of the Rules that dealt with the issuance of statutory licenses for broadcasting. The amendment is likely to bring a turbulence in the internet broadcasting giving ample opportunities to claim benefit under statutory licensing.


While the amendments and insertions are all made with true intent to adapt the law with the present technological advancement in the society, the concern only lies with regard to the statutory licensing and the broadening of scope thereunder. It is a well settled principle of law that rules drafted to any act obtain its power from that act and can at no point be ultra vires to the same act. In case of issuance of any such rules that are ultra vires to the act, such rules are required to be quashed as void. A rule must be in accord with the parent statute as it cannot travel beyond it.[iv] A Rule to have the effect of a statutory provision, it must fulfill two conditions, firstly it must conform to the provisions of the statute under which it is framed and secondly, it must also come within the scope and purview of the Rule making power of the authority framing the Rule and if either of these two conditions is not fulfilled, the Rule so framed would be void.[v] Further, where a rule is directly inconsistent with a mandatory provision of the statute, then, of course, the task of the court is simple and easy.[vi] This implies that if a rule is directly hit for being violative of the provisions of the enabling statute, then the Courts need not have to look in any other direction but declare the said rule as invalid on the said ground alone.[vii] It would be interesting to see the views of the Court in case of a dispute on the statutory licensing for internet broadcasting, in the absence of any amendment to the parent act but presence of a mere amendment in the rules.

[iv] Union of India v. S. Srinivasan : (2012) 7 SCC 683

[v] General Officer Commanding-in-Chief v. Dr. Subhash Chandra Yadav: AIR 1988 SC 876

[vi] State of T.N. and Anr. v. P. Krishnamurthy and Ors., (2006) 4 SCC 517

[vii] ibid

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Khurana and Khurana
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Khurana and Khurana
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions