DPIIT Directs Copyright Societies to Comply with the Copyright Act 1957

Posted On - 21 August, 2023 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva

The DPIIT has received several complaints and submissions from the general public and stakeholders over alleged royalty collection by Copyright Societies during musical performances and sound recordings at social events. These concerns raise the prospect of a violation of the requirements outlined in Section 52 of the Copyright Act of 1957 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”).

Section 52 of the Act lists specific acts that are not considered copyright infringement. Notably, Section 52(1)(za) expressly exempts certain activities, such as the performance of literary, dramatic, or musical works, as well as the communication of such works or sound recordings, during legitimate religious or official ceremonies conducted by the Central Government, State Government, or any local authority. This exemption also applies to religious ceremonies associated with marriage and other social gatherings.

DPIIT’s Directive to Copyright Societies

In view of the above situation, the DPIIT has issued a public notice bearing No. P-24029/56/2023-IPR-VII dated 24th July 2023 to Copyright Societies, encouraging them to firmly evade any actions that violate Section 52(1)(za) of the Copyright Act. The aim is to avoid any legal ramifications from the illicit collection of royalty during religious and official rituals, particularly weddings.

The DPIIT has also issued a caution to the general public, asking people not to consider any unjustifiable demands from persons, organisations or copyright societies that may contravene Section 52(1)(za) of the Copyright Act. The DPIIT aims to safeguard consumers from any copyright-related conflicts that may develop as a result of the misuse of Copyright Laws during such events by raising awareness.

Promoting Compliance and Fair Practices

The DPIIT’s public notice emphasises the importance of upholding the integrity of the Copyright Act, including the exemptions for religious and official rituals such as weddings. The goal of this action is to promote a fair and legal environment for musical performances and sound recordings at such gatherings. The DPIIT’s proactive approach demonstrates the government’s commitment to defending individuals’ rights as well as the interests of many stakeholders in the creative and entertainment industries. By immediately addressing reported concerns and grievances, the DPIIT aims to build trust in the copyright system and encourage responsible use of intellectual property under the law.


The DPIIT’s public notice serves as a reminder to Copyright Societies to adhere to the provisions of the Copyright Act 1957, specifically Section 52(1)(za), during marriage functions and other religious or official ceremonies. The cautionary note to the general public emphasizes their rights and the need to avoid compliance with any requests that may breach copyright regulations. Enforcing these guidelines, the government aims to maintain a balanced copyright ecosystem that fosters creativity while protecting the interests of all stakeholders involved.