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Statutory licensing for content not applicable to the Internet, says Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court has granted an interim injunction in favor of Tips Industries against Airtel-owned music streaming service Wynk. Tips had sought a temporary order restraining Wynk from enabling downloads and streaming of Tips music. What led to this lawsuit was a fallout between the two over royalties, and Wynk invoking a statutory license for streaming Tips' music. Wynk had earlier licensed music from Tips – which claims a catalog of over 25,000 songs – for Rs 1.31 crores, via an agreement dated 22nd August 2014. This agreement expired on 31st August 2016. Wynk extended the agreement till 31st October 2016, on a condition that a written agreement would be executed by then, failing which they would stop using the music by November 7th 2016, with a liability to pay for usage till this period. Tips demanded a minimum guarantee of Rs 4.5 crores for 2 years (2 crores in the first year and 2.5 crores in the second), and Wynk claims that this offer was rejected on 24th April 2017. Negotiations failed on 27th April and 5th May, and on 17th November 2017, Tips sent a cease and desist notice to Wynk, instructing them to remove Tips music content by 1st December 2017. In reply, Wynk on 24th November 2017, invoked Section 31-D of the Copyright Act, 1957, claiming to be a broadcaster, saying that they were "entitled to a statutory license", which allowed them to communicate the music work to the public via broadcast. This ruling (download…

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Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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