Times Internet has agreed to stop streaming Tips Music’s songs on the web versions of Radio Mirchi and Ishq 104.8 FM, the latter being owned by the India Today group. The interim agreement came after Tips filed a case in the Bombay High Court to restrain Times Internet and Ishq 104.8 FM from broadcasting their music without a licensing agreement. In a statement, Tips said:
This matter raises the question of applicability of the compulsory license order passed by the Copyright Board vide its Order dated 25th August, 2010 in accordance with powers provided under Section 31(1)(b) of the Copyright Act, 1957 pursuant to which the FM broadcasters can broadcast sound recordings owned by the members of Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) at a fixed royalty rate of 2% of net advertisement earnings of each FM radio station.
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Times Internet’s legal representation filed a statement saying that while it was not going to stream Tips music on web radio for the moment, it will not rule out the possibility of filing for a statutory license to get the rights to Tips songs without an agreement from the label.
This comes on the heels of Gaana and Tips Music’s streaming deal falling through. Tips and Times Internet were represented by Virag Tulzapurkar and Virendra Tulzapurkar respectively; the two brothers, in opposite sides of the case, are reputed copyright lawyers in Mumbai. Tips has argued that since it left a union of labels whose music is subject to a statutory license, internet radio stations can no longer stream its music.
Since this is just an interim arrangement as the case progresses, the ramifications for internet radio and statutory licensing is not yet clear. We have reached out to Times Internet for comment. The next hearing is tentatively scheduled in two months.
Read Tips’s full statement here.
Timeline of Tips and rights issues
- May 28: In an interview with MediaNama, Tips MD Kumar Taurani said streaming services generally pay labels Rs 0.10–0.18 per stream.
- May 25: Tips announced that its deal with Gaana fell through, and Gaana said the label was charging “exorbitant minimum guarantees” for continued access to its catalogue.
- May 10, 2019: The Bombay High Court ruled that statutory licensing for music does not apply to streaming services like Gaana, handing Tips a victory. But Wynk, Airtel’s streaming service and the defendant in that case, is appealing the decision.
Update (June 2, 10:14 am): Tips Music sent an updated statement.