Indian Broadcasting Foundation (IBF) has wholeheartedly welcomed the amendments made in the half-century-old Copyright Act. It acknowledged all who have been relentlessly working for the passage of the Copyright Amendment Bill, especially Kapil Sibal, Minister of Human Resource and Development; Sushma Swaraj, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha; Arun Jaitley, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha; and Ambika Soni, Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
The amendments will benefit every creative person in India, be it an author, composer or writer, who has hitherto been deprived of his/her due. With this Bill, the creator’s rights are upheld and respected. It will, beyond doubt, help a large chunk of creative people in the country, said an official release.
IBF gives a nod to the provisions of Statutory Licensing for broadcasting organisations. Radio and television broadcasting is a fast growing sector in India. These are important medium to disseminate information, education, news, views and infotainment to the masses. The programmes relating to music competition, talent hunts, reality shows, etc. have become quite popular on both, television and radio and these programs involve the usage of songs and music in various ways.
Any Copyright legislation in India needs to ensure that the public interest is not compromised so far as ‘public access’ to information and entertainment in literary and musical work is concerned.
It is for serving this larger public interest of unhindered access to ‘information’ in a smooth and non-discriminatory manner that Section 31D has been incorporated in the Copyright Act. The said amendment provides for the availability of content to any broadcasting organisation (both television and radio) through the mechanism of Statutory licensing on the payment of royalty to be determined by Copyright Board which shall fix separate rates for radio broadcasting and television broadcasting. This is to ensure that the content becomes available to everyone desirous of the same without any discrimination and on reasonable royalties to be fixed by Copyright Board and at the same time the owners of copyright works are also not subject to any disadvantages.