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Complete Understanding of Copyright Societies

Complete Understanding of Copyright Societies
Karan Singh
| Updated: Jul 28, 2021 | Category: Copyright

IPRs are the exclusive rights that are provided to an individual for their creations in musical, scientific, artistic, etc. Intellectual Property (IP) is a product or item of the human creative mind. The extent of IP is broadening very fast with the passing of each year. The word IP has been identified globally via various types of law such as Copyright, Patents, Trademarks, etc. The IP of whatever species is generally found like the intangible in Copyright property. In this write-up, we will discuss the concept of Copyright Societies.

Like in Copyright, the idea is based on the uniqueness, reproduction of the work, etc. Copyright is an intellectual right, the significance of which has increased highly in recent times due to the fast technological development in the field of printing, music, etc. The object of Copyright Law is to promote composers, artists, and authors to create original or unique works by rewarding them with the exclusive right for a limited time to develop the work by financial gain.

What is known as Copyright Societies?

Copyright Societies can be mentioned as a legitimate body whose object is to safeguard the owners’ interest of the wok in which Copyright subsists. The purposes of a Copyright Society are to permit a license of the Copyright in actual work for the performance, issuing copies, duplication of the work to the public, locate Copyright Infringement, and start any statutory proceedings if necessary.

What is the Reason for the Development of Copyright Societies?

It has been generally observed that the creative works’ authors are not business-minded or interested in monetary resources and are often prone to the utilisation of their work. For instance, if the creator or author has created an actual literary work, they might get a financial advantage by reproducing copies of their work and selling them to the public. But, this is only possible if the work is copyrighted or licensed to a publisher. It is also challenging for the owner of the copyrighted work to avoid Copyright Infringement of the work. At times, it has also been seen that they are not able to keep track of all the uses others do their work. Hence, to overcome such problems, owners of the work determined to form Societies of Copyright to license their work for communication/performance to the public. The Copyright Societies are permitted to do such work based on payment.

Provisions for the Registration of Copyright Society

The provisions for the Copyright Societies Registration are mentioned in Section 33 of the Copyright Act, 1957[1]. It states that no individuals or associations are allowed to execute the business of granting of licenses for any work in which Copyright subsists as described in Section 13 of this Act. But, those bodies of persons or associations or individuals will be exempted from this provision which had registered themselves under Section 33 of the Act. Moreover, the Section tells that any Copyright work’s owner in their capacity will continue to have the authority to issue a Copyright License concerning their work with their obligation, if any, as a member of the Copyright Society. As per this Section, any type of business permitting license concerning the element of dramatic, artistic, literary, and musical work registered in a sound recording or cinematograph film will only be performed via a registered Copyright Society.

As you are already aware, before the Copyright Society, executing rights society was considered as a statutory body to permit licenses & its provisions were referred from Section 33 to 36. With the beginning of Copyright Societies, the executing rights societies under the previous provisions of Section 33 will be considered to be a Copyright Society if such societies had incorporated themselves under the new Section 33 of the Copyright Act. To register a Copyright Society in this Act, an application for the registration of Copyright Society should be made to the Copyright Registrar. The Copyright Registrar will finally forward the application to the Central Government. The Government will take a few thoughts to issue the registration for Copyright Society. The conditions are given below:

  • The author’s interest and other rights of the owners under the Act;
  • The class of persons’ interest who desire to seek licenses regarding the relevant rights;
  • Convenience and interest of the public;
  • Professional capability and ability of those who apply.

The Government generally doesn’t register more than one Copyright Society from one work class. If the Central Government feels that a Copyright Society is managed damages to the authors & other owners’ interest, then they might cancel the registration of Copyright Society. The Central Government at that time may cancel the registration of Copyright Society at the time of the pendency of a question for a time of not surpassing one year.

Provisions for the Copyright Societies Power

The powers of Copyright Societies are referred to in Section 34 of the Copyright Act. This Section states that:

  • An author or any other proprietor of rights might remove search approval without harming any rights of the society under any agreement;
  • A Copyright Society may accept the complete approval of any copyrighted work from the author or creator and other owners of such rights. By taking such exclusive authority, they grant licenses or gather the license fees/both.

The Copyright Society may enter into an agreement with any overseas society or association administrating rights corresponding to rights under this Act to entrusting to such a society in any overseas country the rights managed by the proposed Copyright Society in India and vice versa. But, such a society shouldn’t discriminate concerning the terms of license or distribution of fees gathered between rights in India and other works.

The Section says certain powers of Copyright Societies. The powers are:

  • Any Copyright Society can grant a license under Section 30;
  • They are also allowed to act any other functions under Section 35;
  • Such societies can gather fees of licenses;
  • They can also distribute fees among authors or other holders, given that they had kept the money for their expenses.

Provisions Concerning the Control

As per Section 35 of the Copyright Act, every society of Copyright is subjected to the collective control of the authors or other holders of rights, whose rights are being managed by the society. But, overseas societies are exempted from this control.

The manners in which the Copyright Societies are being controlled are:

  • They also require to get consent from authors, and other owners for the utilisation of any amounts gathered as fees;
  • The Copyright Society requires to get the permission of authors or creators and other owners of rights for the process of distribution & collection of fees;
  • They also need to furnish complete and detailed information to other owners or authors of rights from time to time concerning all the activities of the administration

Further, the Section declares that all the fees which are required to be divided among the authors & other owners of rights should be distributed in proportion to the original use of their copyrighted work. Every society should have a regulating body with the members chosen from the society’s members. At last, all the Copyright Societies’ members should enjoy the same membership & shouldn’t be discriminated against.


In today’s world, Copyright Registration is crucial. There are various Copyright Societies in India for various purposes. Copyright Society plays a significant role in the life of those owners & authors who have Copyright on their work. Society aids such owners & authors in the area of business concerning earning financial advantages. It also aids the authors & the owners to be connected with overseas societies.

Read our article:Know the Essential Facts Related With the Copyright Registration

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Karan Singh

A legal writing enthusiast, a wanderer, and a zealous reader. After gaining a lot of knowledge about the diverse legal topics and developing research skills, Karan joined the league of legal content writers to deliver quality-rich blogs.

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