PPL obtained the stay and was represented by Media Lexicon, a media and IP law firm. Media Lexicon briefed an impressive array of senior counsels, KK Venugopal (KKV) Rohinton Nariman and Mukul Rohatgi for this matter.
Speaking to SpicyIP, Shekhar Mennon, founder of Medialexicon and noted medial law specialist stated that senior counsel KKV had strongly urged the court to grant the stay, as the copyright board had fixed a rate that was too low and arbitrary. He urged that even something under the essential commodities act would have garnered a better rate!
It is not clear what the real effect of this stay is. My reading would be that the stay of a compulsory licensing (CL) rate fixed by the Board means that there is no effective CL in operation now. For without a fixed rate, there cannot be a compulsory license. Which means that radio stations cannot play music without the permission of PPL.
I’m not sure if any of them have existing contracts with PPL, and if they do, its clear that they can play under the rates stipulated in that contract.
Tis’ certainly proving to be the year of copyright! Compulsory licensing of music, a constitutionally infirm copyright board, parallel imports, book publishers and section 2(m), Javed Akthar, Bollywood, authors’ rights and a seriously dodgy IPRS affair….the issues continue and confound…giving our poor fingers at SpicyIP no respite!