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Summary: Copyright Amendment Rules, 2019: statutory licensing for internet broadcasting firms, stricter code of conduct for copyright societies, and more

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) notified the Draft Copyright (Amendment) Rules (the “Draft”) on 30th May 2019. Presently, the Copyright Act, 1957 (the “Act”) and the Copyright Rules, 2013 (the “Rules, 2013”), as last amended in 2016, are two laws that govern copyrights in India. The said Draft is introduced to amend certain rules under the Copyright Rules, 2013, exercising the power of the Centre to do so under Section 78 of the Copyright Act, 1957. The Draft is open for suggestions and comments from the public till 29th June 2019. In a press release accompanying the draft rules, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said that “Copyright Amendment Rules have been introduced to ensure smooth and flawless compliance of Copyright Act in the light of technological advancement in digital era and to bring them in parity with other relevant legislations.” Some of the highlights of the amendments sought to be brought in the Copyright Rules, 2013 are: Scope of Statutory License Chapter VIII of the Rules, 2013, containing sections 29, 30 and 31 deal with the statutory licensing for the broadcasting of literary and musical works and sound recordings. The sections originally entail the license for ‘radio and television’ broadcasting only. The amendment sought is to replace the words "by way of radio broadcast or television broadcast" by the words "for each mode of broadcast". This amendment will bring internet broadcasting within its domain, thus not restricting ways of broadcasting to only radio and…

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