NO MORE COPYRIGHT STRIKES ON YOUR MUSIC COVER VIDEOS!
One of India’s premier music business conference, All About Music (AAM) launched their digital sessions, supported by Music Plus, recently. Staying true to its image of being the most inclusive music business conference, the AAM digital session aim to cover the most relevant topics facing the music industry through discussions, workshops and masterclasses.
Kicking off the first session, No More Copyright Strikes On Your Music Cover Videos!, were industry experts Atul Churamani Founder & MD, Turnkey Music Publishing Pvt Ltd, Priyanka Khimani, leading entertainment lawyer and founder of Anand & Anand & Khimani and Simon Moor, Managing director at Kobalt Music Publishing Australia.
Statutory License for cover versions under Copyright
Explaining the law for cover versions, Priyanka elaborated about a provision to obtain a Statutory License for cover versions under section 31 C of the Copyright. Dwelling further she said Copyright law in India itself provides for a mechanism where someone who is desirous of making a cover version can obtain a license and about the mechanism and set of rules as to how these this particular license can be obtained.
Royalty rates in India and abroad
Indian law hasn’t prescribed a set rate and over a period of time, through industry consensus, a general rate of 5% of the sales is applied. Speaking about the rates internationally, Simon stated they are in the same ballpark and 8% to 10% is the goodwill standard.
Atul briefed about the three licenses required under the Copyright Act: Mechanical license, Public Performance License, and Synchronization License when doing cover songs and videos. Priyanka explained about the three licenses.A mechanical license is required to cover a song. In case a video is made, a Synchronization license is required from the original copyright owner, ie. the publisher or the label. In all cases, whether a video is made or not, the Public Performance license needs to be obtained before uploading the song on public platforms. The Public Performance License is usually obtained by the platform and not by the artiste doing the cover. If the original publisher/copyright owner of the song is a member of the Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS), one can obtain both the mechanical and public performance licenses from IPRS.
These were a few topics that were discussed. The entire discussion can be viewed on All About Music and Music Plus’ platforms.