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Music License from PPL

As the name suggests, music license is a permit mandatory for playing music in the non-private or public places, commercial premises, and commercial establishments by the way of Music Cassettes, Gramophone Records, Radio, etc.

Generally, it is a license issued by the copyright holders or their agents for broadcasting, performing or recreating the copyrighted work.

According to the Copyright Act, 1957, obtaining a phonographic performance license is mandatory for playing music at aforesaid places.

In India, a music license is granted by the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). Before moving further, let us first understand what PPL is.

What is Phonographic Performance Limited?

Phonographic Performance Limited or PPL is a body which controls the Radio Broadcasting and Public Performance rights for 300+ music labels. These music labels consist of more than 0.8 million domestic and 1.5 million international songs.

PPL is responsible for the issuance of the music license under Section 18 and 30 of the Copyright Act, 1957. The Indian Phonography Industry (IPI) which is an association of Phonogram Producers was established in 1936.

Before PPL, IPI used to finalize the Broadcasting License Arrangement in India. However, later the group decided to create a specific body to govern their public performance and broadcasting rights. As a result, the PPL was formed and introduced in 1941.

Who needs a music license?

Whether you play PPL’s sound recording on every day or for a special event for a particular day, you would require license from the PPL first.

Here, we have listed below some examples of establishments who require licenses to play music in the public:

  • Restaurants or Cafés;
  • Malls;
  • Aircrafts;
  • Cinemas;
  • Social Events;
  • Fashion Shows;
  • Shopping Establishments;
  • Lounge Bars or Discotheques or Pubs;
  • Factories, Hospitals or Offices;
  • Hospitals and Nursing Homes;
  • Sports Events;
  • Sponsored or Non-Sponsored Events;
  • Ticketed or Non-Ticketed Events;
  • Product Launch, etc.

For the establishments who play the music on a daily basis require annual Background License. However, those who play music on occasions require Event License.

Documents required for obtaining music license from PPL

For obtaining music license from PPL, you need to submit the following documents as enlisted below:

  • The details of the applicant such as name, address, and nationality;
  • Details of the type of business;
  • Certificate of Incorporation, in case of LLP/company;
  • List of types of music to be played;
  • GST registration certificate, if applicable;
  • PAN card of the applicant;
  • Address proof of the applicant such as Electricity Bills or Driving License or Voter ID card, etc.
  • Other documents as required.

Besides, it depends what kind of license you require. You have to submit the documents accordingly.

How to obtain PPL/Music License in India?

For obtaining a PPL license in India, the applicant needs to contact Swarit Advisors.

Step 1: Fill our enquiry form by clicking here.

Step 2: One of our experts will call you back very soon.

Step 3:They will understand your need for obtaining music license and will provide you with guidance on the same.

Step 4: You are required to submit the required documents and the prescribed fees.

Step 5: We will draft the application for music license on your behalf and will keep in touch with the department of the Phonographic Performance Limited until we receive the license.

Step 6: After a prescribed time period, you will receive your license.


As per Section 51 of the Copyright Act, 1957, playing music or any public performance which includes sound recordings belonging to Phonographic Performance Limited without a license creates a copyright infringement.

Copyright infringement is a non-bailable offence with a heavy penalty of Rs. 2 lakhs and an imprisonment of 3 years.

Why Swarit Advisors?

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In case you have any questions or wish to apply for Music License, then click here or fill the inquiry form. You will get a dedicated Call from a CA /CS.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Ans: The member labels of PPL have assigned it with exclusive rights which are collection of fees on every “Radio Broadcasting” and “Public Performance” activity.

Ans: No, it doesn’t exempt you from obtaining the PPL license. In fact, instrumental music creates a part of the original sound recording by a record label. Therefore, obtaining the concerned license is quite essential.

Ans: Yes, you do require obtaining a separate Event License for playing music in public on special occasions. The reason for the same is that annual Background License is not applicable for events.

Ans: Yes, every public performance requires a PPL license irrespective of the volume of music being played at the venture.

Ans: Every license has a unique QR code. One can scan this code with a smartphone using apps such as i-nigma or Kaspersky’s QR scanner. The code is authentic; it will direct you to the original PPL license on the PPL portal where you can examine the license details online.

Ans: No, PPL doesn’t accept any cash transactions. You can either pay through a payment link or transfer through NEFT/IMPS/RTGS/DD/Cheque. If any executive is asking you to pay in cash, then you need to file a formal compliant at [email protected]

No, PPL doesn’t hold any music rights for digital platforms.

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