Brief of Music License
The Copyright Act, of 1957 governs Music Licence in India. It is a form of intellectual property right which is governed in the form of intangible. As an individual composes music, the originality would be of the music producer. This automatically protects the artistic work. Hence the provisions of the Copyright Act would be applied to Music Licence Registration.
The authority which gives permission for the Music License to shops, restaurants, and bars with a business perspective is called the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS). This body has its offices which are working throughout India. Another institution or organization which grants Music License in India is the Copyright Society for Sound Recording which falls under the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). For performances in various type of different restaurants, the PPL that is Phonographic Performance Limited has to grant a Music Licence. For the purpose of live music or performances, one has to take a license from IPRS.
Thus every restaurant or bar must possess a Music License for per-recorded performances and live performances on their premises. The government of India has ordered this as an essential requirement for a restaurant to conduct business if any of them are caught without the above-mentioned license then, he or she has to face the consequences. Hence, obtaining a Music License is a must use the copyrighted music for the work or we can say for the betterment of their business. An amount royalty fee is also needed to be paid against that copyright music if it is used by any restaurant, bar, etc.
What is a Music License?
As per the Copyright Act, ‘musical work’ means a work comprised of music and contains any graphical notation of such work but it does not include any words or any action which is intended to be sung, spoken, or performed with the music or we can say simultaneously with the music. Therefore, a license required for sanction, authentication, and protection of such musical work is called a Music License. Music Licenses are required while playing or performing musical work in a public place or for business purposes.
Establishments who can Secure Music Licence in India
There are various establishments who can secure the above mentioned license in India. Such categories mentioned under the IPRS are as follows-
1. Music License in India for the Purpose of Public Performance
The following categories of venues required to get Music License in India for the purpose of the public performance-
- Multiplex as well as Shopping Plaza, also the Arcades, IT Parks, etc.
- Every type of Hotels, Guest rooms, lodges, resorts, holiday homes, clubs and boarding and lodging premises requires the same license for the public performance.
- Event performance at premises needs the same above mentioned license.
- Amusement park, Pubs, Disco and all types of Malls.
- Every type of restaurants, Dining rooms, bars, lounges, coffee houses, cafes, and relatable premises needs to take the above mentioned license for the public performance in their premises.
- Publications, Banquets halls, auditoriums and also all kinds of Sports grounds or stadiums.
- Service-oriented, waiting and Transportation services related premises also need to take this music related license or the purpose of the public performance.
2. Music License in India for the purpose of Television and Radio
Following are the categories which requires permission in the form of Music License for the purpose of Television and Radio-
- Community Radio Broadcast requires permission for the Television and Radio in the form of the license which is mentioned above.
- Television broadcast through satellite also requires the same kind of license in the form of permission.
- Radio broadcast also requires the above mentioned license for the purpose of Television and Radio.
3. Music License in India for the purpose of Physical Medium, Streaming or OTT
Following are the one who needs to take license for the purpose of physical medium, streaming or OTT-
- Non-Interactive Music streaming services on the Internet requires the permission in the form of the license mentioned above.
- Interactive music streaming services on the internet also requires the same license which is mentioned above.
- Karaoke service on the internet needs to get permission in the form of Music License.
- Utilization by Cinematography films on Electronic Digital Medium through download, renting, streaming and sale and physical medium must have to take permission of the concern authority in the form of license mentioned above.
- Utilization by Sound recording on Electronic Digital Medium through download and physical medium also requires permission from concern authorities.
4. Music License in India for the purpose of CRBT or Ringtone
Utilization by Ring tone or caller back tone needs to take permission in the form of license for the purpose of CRBT or ringtones in India. If it is not taken in the form of Music License for the purpose of the CRBT or Ringtone then one have to face the consequences which can proof fatal as well.
5. Music License in India for the Commercial Purpose
In case you want to use Sound or Music in Advertisement, Corporate videos or audio and promotional videos for any commercial purpose then you have to take Music License in India for its commercial use. If one is not taking permission in the form of the license mentioned above he or she has to face the consequences.
Forms of Music License
There are specific types of Music License which are allotted to artists based on the works produced by them. Such forms of licenses are given below-
- Public Performance License
- Master License
- Mechanical License
- Sync License
- Print Rights License
- Theatrical License
This form of license is holded by a specific restaurant or hotel when they have singer that come and perform publically in their place. This is one of the most provided licenses by the specific licensing authority. Such licenses are provided only when music is played live by the artist through a particular concert. This form of license is considered if music is played through some form of juke box or live performance.
In this form of license, the original producer of music allows the business to use some form of pre-recorded version of the music. This form of music is usually considered for any form of concert. However, re-recording the song is not allowed under this license. The original producer of the music is the license holder in this situation thus this licence is named as master licence.
Mechanical License is primarily used for commercial purposes. The original producer permits to business via reproducing its music in the form of audio visuals devices, live streaming devices, CDs, publications and other music applications. The original music producer enters in a contract or agreement which is in written form for licensing the music rights in against for a particular fee or royalty for each copy reproduced.
Usually this form of license is used for TV ads, commercials, movies and other forms of advertisements. In this form of license, the music which is already composed is synchronised with existing ads and broadcasting. All the companies that make commercials and utilise pre-produced music will require this form of license.
In this license, the music publisher permits the user to rearrange, print, display or reorganise the music sheets, lyrics or notes. It can only be granted by the Copyright Holder.
Theatrical license are very ordinary in the theatre industry, a specific form of written permission is granted to theatres. The License is required whenever a copyrighted work is played on stage in front of the audience.
Benefits of Music License
Following are the benefits for securing a Music Licence in India-
- Compliance with Law
- Public Performance
- Copyright Protection to Original Artist
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.
For the public performances at restaurants and pubs, the IPRS music license is compulsory to hold on. As 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.
Through such license, 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.
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.
Leading Organization providing Music License
Nowadays, it is quite easy to get a Music License in India due to the leading organizations that are providing this Licence in India such as Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL]) & the Indian Performing Right Societies Ltd (IPRS). By obtaining this license only, music could be played for commercial purposes at any public places.
- Phonographic Performance Limited
- For Performing Live Music
Copyright Society for Sound Recording, Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) issue music licenses to businesses such as restaurants & cafes who want to play pre-recorded music on their premises. PPL licenses to consumers to perform in publics the songs and also for radio broadcast. It collects the fees on behalf of the members and sends them the same accordingly fixed.
As any entity wishes to have live singing or live concerts in its commercial premises, then the entity needs to approach IPRS (Indian Performing Rights Society) for the music license. The IPRS acts as an intermediate between copyright holders and parties who use copyright works publicly. For Public performances in malls, banquets hall, pubs, theatres, etc needed the music license to be held on. Even for the music played on the television and radio it requires license.
Requirements for obtaining Music License
Behind every licensing there is a purpose for which people obtain any license. The requirement to obtain Music License are given below-
- To decide the audible range of any kind of music,
- The area up to which the music is audible (in square meters) is also decided through license.
- The number of seats in your restaurant is also an important factor.
- The type of area where the music will be played and listened to, such as the dining area, restrooms, bars, kitchens, etc is also decided or mentioned in the license.
- The type of device will be used for playing music such as radio, CDs, TV, etc. Also needs to be addressed in the license.
Documents Required to Obtaining Music License in India
Following is the list of the documents which are mandatory to get license which is mentioned above-
- Personal details such as name and address of the applicant
- Details of the business for which license is needed
- A detailed list of types of music that will be played or used in the premises for which one is getting the license
- If you are into an LLP, then the certificate of incorporation is mandatorily required
- If it is a company, then the certificate of incorporation, MOA and AOA are required for getting the license
- PAN Card and Aadhar Card of the applicant
- GST Registration Certificate of the business which requires to get this license
- Utility Bills of the business which requires such business
This is noted here that the above mentioned list is not exhaustive in nature. It is just a general list of documents which are definitely going to be used. But it does not mean no other document will be used.
Procedure for obtaining Music License in India
The steps for the registration process to obtain a Music License are given below-
1. Visit the Official Website
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.
2. Select the Category
After visiting the official website of required licensing organization, the applicant needs to choose the category of Music License as per the requirement.
3. 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 insert password after providing the required credentials. The applicant needs to furnish the following details-
- Name of the Premises for which you want to take the license.
- Registered Address of the Premises where your business is set up.
- Information such as contact details and email of the owner of the premises or the applicant.
- Details of the Services which use the above mentioned license.
- Public Performance details are also required.
- GST Number, PAN and TAN Number of the applicant.
- Details related to the fee payable with the license allocated must also be provided to the applicant.
4. Needs to Read the Related General Terms And Conditions (Tariff)
After providing the details, the applicant needs to click on the tariff tab, which enlists the prices for all the music license services. The user who issues the music license shall pay the prescribed fee and government taxes provided in the tariff tab accordingly.
5. Online Verification
After submitting the online application, for the verification the applicant will be receiving an email and a SMS for OTP (one time password).
6. Online Payment
Once the verification is completed, the application should be ended by paying government fees online through payment gateways. The online receipt will be sent via SMS or Email.
7. Issues 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.
Required Fees for Music License
The Music License states the conditions of use, time period of license and the rate of royalty which has been obtained by the owner or offered to the owner of the copyright. The copyright society collects the fees for Music License and gives the same over to the owners of copyrights, so that their right will not be infringed. The fee for this license obtained depends on the following factors-
- The type of place or premise where the music is being played by the owner of the premises or the applicant.
- The number of hours the restaurant/store stream the music in their premises.
- The number of songs played at the restaurant/store for which license has been asking for.
- The capacity of the area where the music is being played by the applicant.
- The type of business which is occupied by the applicant or the owner of the business.
Penalty Available for the Offenders
If one failed to pay the required fees for the Music License granted by the PPL then in this condition he or she has to pay an interest of 18% per annum with a penal charge up to Rs 2 lakhs, whereas this rate is high in case license is provided by the IPRS. That interest rate is 30% per annum.
Section 63 of the Copyright Act provides that any individual who breaches the copyright or other rights of the copyright holder then he or she is accountable for the things given below in detail-
- Imprisonment for six months which may extend to three years, means lowest punishment is six months and highest punishment for the infringement is three years.
- With the above mentioned punishment offender is also liable to pay a fine of not less than fifty thousand rupees which may extend to two lakh rupees.
As per Section 63 of the copyright act, any individual who infringes the copyright or other rights of the copyright holder is accountable for the things given below-
- Imprisonment for a period not less than one year, which may extend to three years means minimum punishment is one year and maximum punishment is three years.
- With the above mentioned imprisonment one is also liable to pay the fine, which must not be less than one lakh rupees and may extend to two lakh rupees.
BizAdvisors Assistance in obtaining Music License
- Purchase a Plan for Expert Assistance, so that they can assist you while obtaining the license.
- Add Queries Regarding Music License, which the applicant wants to obtain.
- Provide Documents to BizAdvisors Expert, so that he or she can forward the process of the licensing.
- Prepare Application for the purpose of the Music License.
- Complete all Admissibility Criteria for Preliminary Screening related to the license which has been discussed above.
- Complete Procedural Actions by the BizAdvisors.
- Get your Music License at your Door Step with the help or assistance of the BizAdvisors.
Why you should choose Bizadvisors?
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Therefore, it can be concluded that without any Music License, no one could use the Copyrighted music for their benefit. Before applying for any Music License, the type of the application must be fixed. The procedure for obtaining Music License is not very simple. Thus, the decision for hiring professionals would be appreciable to get a Music licence in India. This license is basically to provide the security to the copyright holders related to any type of music. Fees taken for this license has been given to the copyright owner as royalty. This protection is basically comes under the intellectual property as it is related to once intellectual. Music is created by using once mind, if copyright protection has not been given then his or her hard work will gone in futile. Hence this license has been given to the copyright owner to provide security to their work.
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Frequently Asked Questions
In India such license is provided by two different authorities and the fees for both of them is different.
Licenses are required whenever a person performs in public, any song which is not written by him or her or play recorded music in public, such as at different types of club, restaurant, concert, on the radio, or streaming online. A public performance license is required no matter how much portion of music has been used by you.