[cr-india] Community Radio and the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012

sajan venniyoor venniyoor at gmail.com
Thu Jun 20 02:50:44 CDT 2013

Thanks, Ram.

I agree it would have been useful to have CR listed as a separate category
of broadcaster under the Copyright (Amendment) Act or Rules 2013 but, as
you have said in your note, neither the Act nor the Rules make any
distinction between "different kinds of radio broadcasters". Still, in
operational terms, a differential royalty structure is as good recognizing
different categories of broadcasters. The 2013 Rules do say that the Board
should consider:

7(c) different rates for different nature of use of work;
(d) the prevailing standards of royalties with regard to such works;
(e) the terms and conditions included in the Grant of Permission Agreement
(GOPA) between Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the broadcaster
for Operating
Frequency Modulation (FM) Radio Broadcasting Service; and
(f) such other matters as may be considered relevant by the Board.

That should adequately meet our case. Also, in the matter of determining
royalties, #31: "The Board shall [...] on receipt of a request from any
interested person, give public notice of its intention to fix royalties for
communication to the public of literary or musical work and sound recording
under section 31 D."

We are interested persons. It is high time we approached the Copyright
Board (Chairman: Justice Ramesh Chandra Chopra, *retd.*) or the Registrar
of Copyrights, as the case may be, and requested a separate royalty regime
/ tariff structure for CR.

warm regards,

On 20 June 2013 12:45, ram bhat <ram at maraa.in> wrote:

> Dear Sajan,
> When the Registrar was still inviting comments from public and
> stakeholders late last year, Maraa has sent a note on this issue on behalf
> of Community Radio Forum.
> The full text of the note can be accessed here -
> http://maraa.in/comments-on-draft-copyright-rules-2012/
> Unfortunately, looks like those comments were not considered.
> I agree that CRF should now take this matter directly to the Registrar,
> and perhaps reiterate these points to him.
> best,
> Ram
> On Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 11:34 AM, sajan venniyoor <venniyoor at gmail.com>wrote:
>> The Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012<http://copyright.gov.in/Documents/CRACT_AMNDMNT_2012.pdf>has been notified. No surprises there, but they've updated the 1957 Act and
>> liberalized several provisions.
>> As far as radio broadcasting is concerned, it puts the responsibility of
>> fixing the rate of royalty for radio broadcasting on the Copyright Board.
>> 31D. (2) The broadcasting organisation shall give prior notice, in such
>> manner as may be prescribed, of its intention to broadcast the work stating
>> the duration and territorial coverage of the broadcast, and shall pay to
>> the owner of rights in each work royalties in the manner and at the rate
>> fixed by the Copyright Board.
>> (3) The rates of royalty for radio broadcasting shall be different from
>> television broadcasting and the Copyright Board shall fix separate rates
>> for radio broadcasting and television broadcasting.
>> (4) In fixing the manner and the rate of royalty under sub-section (2),
>> the Copyright Board may require the broadcasting organisation to pay an
>> advance to the owners of rights.
>> The Copyright Board, by its 25 Aug 2010 Order, has already fixed the
>> music royalty rate for FM radio at 2% of net ad revenue *(see operative
>> part of judgment below). *As you can see, it doesn't specify commercial
>> FM, though the case was about royalty to be paid by commercial
>> broadcasters.
>> 30.27    Accordingly, in exercise of powers conferred under section
>> 31(1)(b) of the Copyright Act, 1957, the Copyright Board hereby directs the
>> Registrar of Copyrights to grant to the complainants separate licences  for
>> communicating the work recorded in sound recordings in the repertoire,
>> present and future, of the respondent to the public by broadcast on revenue
>> sharing basis subject to the following terms and conditions:
>> (a)        2% of net advertisement earnings of each FM radio station
>> accruing from the radio business only for that radio station shall be set
>> apart  by  each complainant for pro rata distribution of compensation to
>> all music providers including the respondent herein in proportion to the
>> music provided by the respective music providers and broadcast by the
>> complainant.  Complainant shall be deemed to be a music provider for the
>> music provided by it or received by it free of cost and broadcast.  For
>> arriving at “net advertisement earnings”, all Government and municipal
>> taxes paid, if any, and commission paid towards the procurement of such
>> advertisements to the extent of 15% of such advertisement earnings shall be
>> excluded;
>> CR stations have a case for demanding a similar rate of music royalty
>> instead of the extortionate Rs.2 lakhs per year we pay now. (In flagrant
>> disregard of the Copyright Board Order, the descendants of Somali pirates
>> who apparently run copyright societies are still demanding "Rs.2,400/- per
>> Needle Hour or 20% of net advertising revenue, whichever is higher" from
>> commercial FM).
>> In fact, if we go by the Copyright Board Order, CR stations would need to
>> earn Rs.1 crore per year through advertising (after taxes and 15%
>> commission) in order to pay Rs.2 lakhs as music royalty.
>> We should take this case directly to the Registrar of Copyrights (and the
>> Copyright Board) rather than to MIB, whose role in resolving the copyright
>> issue for private FM has been less than stellar.
>> warm regards,
>> Sajan
>> Join the Community Radio Forum. For membership details, please go to
>> www.crforum.in
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