EEMA Races Ahead In the War of Copyright! 

New Delhi (India), July 27: As the event industry in the country undergoes significant transformations, The Event & Entertainment Management Association – EEMA, once again races ahead in advocating nonpayment of royalties to music licensing companies for any religious ceremony, including weddings, which has been upheld by the Govt. of India. EEMA happily welcomes the recently issued notice by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Department of Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade (Copyright & Design Section).

The concern of paying music royalties to various licensing bodies for the use of music work or performance in various wedding functions has become a subject of considerable debate. Several complaints, representations, and grievances of various stakeholders and the general public for collection of royalties by the music licensing bodies were submitted to the Government as a response to which a Public Notice was issued recently, representing a significant step forward in addressing these concerns.

The notice reiterated that the performance of a literary, dramatic, or musical work or communication of such work to the public, any sound recording for any bonafide religious ceremony, including weddings, or any official government ceremony, does not constitute copyright infringement. The notice further refrains the music licensing bodies from entering into acts that contravene Section 52 (1) (za) of the Copyright Act 1957 and has directed that any demands of royalties should not be acceded to. 

Rajeev Jain, a senior EEMA member, commented that “The Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) has once again emerged as a leading advocate in fighting the war against the payment of royalties to music licensing companies for using any musical work which is an integral part of the Indian Weddings.” EEMA, in collaboration with Deloitte, recently presented a draft of the country’s first-ever Wedding Tourism Policy to the Ministry of Tourism, which is a significant step toward establishing India as a premier wedding destination globally.

Ankur Kalra, Treasurer EEMA  who is spearheading the Music Licenses from EEMA, has expressed his thankfulness to the Ministry of Commerce & Industry for issuing the order which will now immediately stop the unlawful extraction of money in the weddings and social events under section 52 (1) (za) of Copyright Act 1957, and he expressed his deepest thank to the Ministry… A big step by Ministry, according to him.

In conclusion, Samit Garg, President of EEMA, said, “The wedding industry in India is poised for growth, and the notice issued represents a significant milestone and will most certainly act as a catalyst for its development. The Government’s commitment to supporting the industry and the contribution of various stakeholders is a welcome step towards establishing India as a leading destination for weddings, where celebrations and ceremonies  are  incomplete without “Music”!!”

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