No license required to play sound recordings: FHRAI & EEMA

Hotels or wedding venues do not require to obtain a license for playing any sound recording for marriage and related social or religious functions held at the venues. To sensitize stakeholders on the Act, FHRAI & EEMA have jointly planned to organize a nationwide campaign through its regional and local Associations to propagate this information to as many hotel, restaurant establishments as well as to all the events management companies as possible. We will also reach out to the law enforcement agencies including the police across all the states in the country to make them aware of the illegal activities of certain copyright agencies which use strong arm tactics including criminal trespass into wedding events to extort money from guests of the hotels,” says Mr Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI.
FHRAI has cited the notification dated 27th August, 2019 issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, notifying that all religious and marriage related functions shall be exempted from payment of copyright charges. Such functions would include all religious functions, marriage functions, engagements and receptions. The Association has also stated that section 52 of Copyright Act 1957 provides an exemption on payment of royalty or license fees for all the religious functions including marriage procession and other social festivities associated with marriage.
The campaign is being organized as a result of a recent incidence where two Mumbai-based private firms extorted Rs1.37 lakh from businessmen under the pretext of issuing them copyright licences for staging musical performances at marriage ceremonies in a star hotel at Koregaon Park in Pune. An FIR of extortion and cheating has been registered against the firms.