The infamous dispute between music labels and authors/composers before the Civil Judge at Barasat, which we had blogged about over here and here, has reignited once again.
I do not have access to most of the information in this case but from I understand, Javed Akhtar filed a complaint on 9th of August, 2012 with the Registrar of Copyrights regarding the state of affairs at IPRS. Thereafter the Registrar of Copyrights issued a show-cause notice to IPRS and I’m speculating that he must have directed IPRS to adhere to the newly enacted mandatory royalty sharing provisions of the Copyright Act, 1957.
Thereafter, Aasha Audio, a music label based out of Bengal, appears to have filed a declaratory suit before the Civil Judge at Barasat, naming Akhtar and probably IPRS as 2 amongst 8 defendants. Aasha Audio was also the first litigant in the series of litigation in 2004 involving IPRS and Akhtar. I’m not sure of the remedies Aasha Audio has asked for in its lawsuit. It is most likely that Aasha Audio is challenging the show-cause notice issued to IPRS. It appears that the present Civil Judge at Barasat, unlike her predecessor was in no mood to indulge the music labels and refuse to grant Aasha Audio an interim injunction through an order dated 10th September, 2012.
The matter was subsequently appealed to the District Judge.
In an order dated 26th September, 2012 the District Judge indulged Asha Audio with a limited ad-interim injunction subject to an undertaking that royalty payments would be made to the authors. The exact target of the injunction is not really explained in the order. This order can be accessed over here.
Javed Akhtar then filed a revision petition against this order before the Calcutta High Court, which in an order on the 9th of January, 2013. Sometime before the revision petition was filed, the Registrar of Copyrights was made party to the dispute because he had issued a show-cause notice. The Calcutta High Court in an order dated 9th January, 2013 declined to interfere with the District Judge’s order but it did order the District Judge to hear Akhtar and the other defendants before extending the interim injunction any further and also confirmed the requirement for royalty payments to be made on the basis of the amended Copyright Act. This order can be accessed over here.
According to sources familiar with the matter, on the 14th of January, 2013 the District Judge heard both sides and reportedly extended the initial interim injunction till 13th February, 2013. Apparently the District Judge was concerned that irreparable injury would be caused to the plaintiff who had filed the suit if the order was not extended. I do not have a true copy of this order.
Most of the above dispute is playing out in the same manner as the earlier litigation at Barasat.
Will it end differently?