What is the Difference Between PPL and IPRS License?

Difference Between PPL and IPRS License
| Updated: Jun 16, 2022 | Category: Music License

In India, there are two major organisations that issue Music License, one is IPRS (Indian Performing Right Societies) and the second is PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited). IPRS & PPL plays a vital role in issuing Music Licenses in India and these two are Copyright Societies established under Section 33 of the Copyright Act. In this blog, we are going to discuss the difference between PPL and IPRS License.

What is a Copyright Society?

Before we discuss the difference between PPL and IPRS License, let’s understand the meaning of Copyright Society. In India, a Copyright Society is registered under Section 33 of the Copyright Act, and such a society is formed by authors & other Copyright owners, which may include Licensing Entities by virtue of an assignment from the original author. The business of granting license concerning dramatic, musical, literary, and artistic works incorporated in Cinematograph films or sound recordings shall be carried out only via a Copyright Society duly registered under the said Act.

Difference between PPL and IPRS License in India

  • Meaning of PPL: PPL stands for Phonographic Performance Limited, which is a separate organisation which provides licenses to use pre-recorded songs or music on radio/TV, in public places or on the internet on behalf of record companies & performers. Initially, the IPI or Indian Phonographic Industry came into existence which was an association of phonogram producers established in 1936. The primary aim was to administer the broadcasting rights & public performance and that’s why PPL came into existence in 1941, just like IPRS.

Following are some categories of Music Licenses under PPL:

  1. Radio License for Government-owned Radio station, Private FM or Community Radio Station;
  2. License to play music at public events like DJ parties, promotion events, shows, etc.;
  3. License to play pre-recorded music as background music in public. With PPL License, one cannot organise any type of event, concert, etc. Moreover, for such performance, you need to obtain a separate license;
  4. License for temporary storage, transfer or embodiment of sound recordings.
  • Meaning of IPRS: IPRS stands for Indian Performing Right Societies and it was established to protect, monitor, and enforce the rights, privileges, and interests of its members, comprising of composers, authors & publishers of literary and/or musical works and is the sole representative body of authors, publishers, and composers of literary & musical works in India. The members of IPRS have executed assignment deeds, exclusively assigning their Public Performing Rights concerning their musical and/or literary works in favour of IPRS. The primary role of IPRS is to collect royalties from users of music who communicate the musical or literary work to the public & then disburse the same to its members.

Following are some categories of Music Licenses under IPRS:

  1. Music License for Public Performance in hotels, malls, pubs, multiplex, premises, banquets, etc.;
  2. Music License for the use of sounds or music on commercial TV, advertisement, etc.;
  3. Music License for non-interactive & interactive music streaming on the internet;
  4. License for broadcasting music on TV & Radio;
  5. License for Caller Ring Back Tone or Ringtone.

Are PPL and IPRS the same thing?

  1. No, there is a huge difference between PPL and IPRS License[1] in India. In the case of PPL, it collects & distributes money on behalf of performers of art & record companies from users for using recorded music or song. Whereas IPRS collects & distributes royalties on behalf of music publishers, composers, and songwriters for the use of musical compositions & lyrics.
  2. For Perform Live Music or Liver Concert: The IPRS issues licenses when a business or any performer wants to conduct a liver concert or live singing on their premises.
  3. For Playing Pre-recorded Song or Music: PPL issues a license when any user or entity wants to play pre-recorded music in their cafes, restaurants, malls, hotels, etc. Also, there is a difference between PPL and IPRS License procedures also.

Benefits of Obtaining a Music License in India

  1. Music License allows artists to perform their work in events, concerts, etc.;
  2. Music License augments the popularity & awareness regarding specific music or song of an artist;
  3. By obtaining this license, an artist can easily use the platform to showcase their talent to the world;
  4. The creation of an artist is safeguarded by way of Copyright as it lessens the chances of copying & stealing the song.

Penalties for not obtaining a Music License

After discussing the difference between PPL and IPRS License, now let’s know the penalties prescribed for not getting a Music License in India. Any business that didn’t get itself registered with the respective Copyright Society (IPRS or PPL) or is involved in doing any activity prescribed under Section 51 is liable for punishment as prescribed under Section 63 & 63A of the Act.

As per Section 63:

  1. The offender needs to pay a fine of not less than  Rs. 50,000 and the same may be extended to Rs. 2 lakh;
  2. In many instances, it can also lead to imprisonment for 6 months which can be further extended to 3 years.

As per Section 63A:

  1. In several cases, it can also lead to imprisonment for 1 year, which can be extended to 3 years;
  2. The offender is accountable for paying a fine of not less than Rs. 1 lakh, which may extend to Rs. 2 lakh.


After discussing the difference between PPL and IPRS License, it is concluded that without PPL or IPRS License, no one is permitted to use the copyrighted music for their commercial benefits. So before applying for these two licenses, it is necessary to know the difference between PPL and IPRS License.

Read our Article: How to Get IPRS License in Mumbai

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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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