A Copyright is a type of Intellectual Property that grants its owner the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, adapt, display, and perform a creative work, typically for a limited period of time. The creative work may be in any form i.e. literary, dramatic, artistic, musical, a cinematograph film. The intention of Copyright Act, 1957, is to protect the original expression of an idea in the form of a creative work, and not the idea itself.
The creative work of an author is usually prone to infringement. Also, the authors or creators of the creative work are not usually business-minded people and as a result their creative work is vulnerable to violation and infringement. Therefore, to protect the interest and rights of the creative owner, Copyright Societies were formed to grant license for the creative work for performance or communication to the public or for issuing copies of the work to the public. These societies are also authorized to watch out for copyright infringement and take appropriate legal action against the infringers.
The Copyright Society is governed by Section 33 of the Copyright Act, 1957. Under section 33(3) of the Act, the copyright societies are registered. There are different kinds of societies assigned for different kinds of work. The Central Government will not normally register more than one Copyright Society to carry on business in relation to the same class of works.
The Central Government on 18th April, 2023 registered a new Copyright Society ‘M/s Cinefil Producers Performance Limited (CPPL)’. This is the first Copyright Society dealing with cinematographic films. The purpose of this society is to protect the copyright of film producers and other owners from infringement and also to facilitate the protection, collection and distribution of royalty from India and abroad by issuing Cinematograph performance license. Film producers invests huge amount of money, time and energy to produce films. A large number of people depend on these films for their livelihood. It is the vision of our PM Shri. Narendra Modiji to encourage the creators and the producers to protect their creative assets from infringement and violation. Union Cabinet cleared the Cinematograph Amendment Bill, 2023 in which stringent punishments are proposed for film piracy. This is a great initiative of the Government of India and a milestone towards strengthening the IP regime. IPRS, ISRA, RMPL and IRRO are existing copyright societies dealing with different forms of copyright works.
A copyright society is a society comprising of authors and other owners of copyright of works. There is a collective administration, management and protection of copyrights. One of the primary functions of a copyright society is to oversee and regulate the process of issuing of licenses and collection of royalty in respect of creative works on behalf of the owner. The reason why registration of CPPL as a co-operative society is extremely crucial and can be understood by the fact that no group is authorized to perform the above function unless it is registered as a society under the provisions of Indian Copyright Act.
CPPL, being a copyright society will be able to monetized the public performance rights of cinematograph film work i.e. videos which are shown to public in hotels, restaurants, auditoriums, discotheques, lounges, housing societies, buses, railways, airports, cruses, venues hosting large events stadiums and so on. The Producers in India will certainly get benefitted with the formation of this new Copyright Society.