Madras High Court ‘stays’ the ‘Compulsory Licensing Order’ of the Copyright Board against SIMCA & Super Audio

The Madras High Court today, followed in the footsteps of the Delhi High Court by passing an interim stay on the the Copyright Board compulsory licensing order with respect to the South Indian Music Companies Association (SIMCA) and Super Audio a member company of PPL. We had earlier reported on how the radio stations had initially created an issue of whether or not SIMCA had the standing to file an appeal against the Order of the Copyright Board. Apparently the Madras High Court passed an order on Monday granting SIMCA ‘leave to sue’ under the rules of the Madras High Court. Another order was passed today staying the order with respect to SIMCA and Super Audio.

Image from here.

The stay against the Order of the Copyright Board was highly expected since the Delhi High Court had passed a similar order on a petition by T-Series. The basic point in both the petitions was the fact that the Order of the Copyright Board could not be made applicable to the petitioners when it was obvious on the face of the record that both parties were not even heard by the Copyright Board before the passing of such an Order. The reason for not giving them a hearing was the simple fact that the radio stations had not filed complaints with the Copyright Board against SIMCA and T-Series.

The exact reasons for staying the order with respect to a member company of PPL is not exactly clear and we will be able to provide more details once we have access to the Order of the Madras High Court.

Today’s ‘stay’ will ensure that the existing and substantially higher royalty rates will apply in context of the radio broadcasts of the music owned by T-Series & SIMCA instead of the meagre 2% royalty fixed by the Copyright Board in the PPL dispute.

Prashant Reddy

T. Prashant Reddy graduated from the National Law School of India University, Bangalore, with a B.A.LLB (Hons.) degree in 2008. He later graduated with a LLM degree (Law, Science & Technology) from the Stanford Law School in 2013. Prashant has worked with law firms in Delhi and in academia in India and Singapore. He is also co-author of the book Create, Copy, Disrupt: India's Intellectual Property Dilemmas (OUP).

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