Mumbai: In Marriage-Related Functions, No Need To Pay Copyrights To Play Soundtracks, Says HRAWI | Bombay News

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MUMBAI: The Hotel and Restaurant Association of West India (HRAWI) has launched a campaign to raise awareness of copyright issues faced by hotels and their customers / guests when playing recorded music.
The campaign was launched following recent incidents in Pune when two private companies based in Mumbai extorted 1.37 lakh rupees from businessmen under the pretext of granting them copyright licenses for the staging of musical performances during wedding ceremonies in a star hotel.
HRAWI met and submitted a written appeal to the Pune Police Commissioner asking him to learn about the crime and register an economic offense against the private agencies for extortion. As part of the campaign, the association will meet with police commissioners in the western region to brief them on the agencies’ ongoing illegal activities. HRAWI has also issued circulars to its member institutions informing them of the law.
“Wedding season is a right and the lack of awareness among industry people, guests and law enforcement officials will be misused by copyright agencies to extort money. money. The law clearly states that wedding venues do not need to obtain a license to play music or soundtracks for the wedding and associated social or religious functions held at the venues, ”said Sherry Bhatia, President of HRAWI.
“Yet we have received several complaints from members about some copyright agencies breaking into wedding events to extort large sums of money from hotel guests. This illegal activity has become rampant and we want to make sure that host institutions across the state and their guests are aware of the law and their rights. We have launched the campaign to educate industry players on this issue and we are also meeting with the police to get their attention. on these illegal activities of the agencies ”, he underlined.
HRAWI cited the notification dated August 27, 2019, issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, notifying that all religious and marriage-related functions will be exempt from paying copyright fees. These functions would include all religious functions, weddings, engagements and receptions.
The association also said that Section 52 of the Copyright Act 1957 provides exemption from payment of royalties or license fees for all religious functions, including the wedding procession and other social festivities associated with marriage.
“These private agencies have a criminal record and operate like bank collectors. They engage in nefarious activities including threatening calls to hotel managers, trespassing at wedding events, and undercover shooting of photos or video clips of events. They send threatening legal opinions with claims amounting to thousands of rupees to hotel owners, as well as guests, failing which they threaten to file an FIR and lawsuits against the hotel and guests . These agencies tend to make unauthorized entries into private places to secretly record events. They threaten hotel owners and customers with legal notices to extort money from them and such acts have been considered criminal intrusion, “said HRAWI senior vice president Pradeep Shetty.
“In an order dated April 15, 2018, the Bombay High Court made it clear that law enforcement authorities are required to register the FIR for trespassing when such agencies enter private functions without any authority or permission. police find out about the crime and register an economic offense against these agencies which extorted huge sums of money from hotels and vulnerable customers, ”Pradeep said.


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