On 18 April 2023, the Central Government registered M/s Cinefil Producers Performance Limited as a copyright society under Section 33(3) of the Copyright Act, 1957 in the realm of cinematographic film works. It is a society formed by film producers and other owners.
It will be interesting to examine how the cinematographic film related copyright societies (including music related copyright societies) interact with each other especially in areas of converging interests. As to cite an instance of potential conflict that may arise between the owners of rights, I would like to draw your attention to the Kerala High Court judgment in Satyam Audios v. Jimmy Alias (5 April 2022). In the given case, the holder of rights in cinematographic films sought injunction against the holder of audio rights (who also enjoys concomitant commercial rights) from using the still images in the movies. The High Court refused to grant this relief on the ground that the usage of still images does not infringe the rights in cinematographic films.
It is possible to reduce the possibility of potential conflicts through clear and precise drafting of contracts.
I had earlier opined that it is not mandatory to be a member of copyright society to carry out the business of issuing or granting licences in respect of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works incorporated into a cinematograph film or sound recordings.
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