In the case of a Statutory License, the statute itself has created an exception and has granted such a license to all broadcasting organisations under the statute itself i.e. the Act, which under Section 31D (1) provides as follows:
“Any broadcasting organisation desirous of communicating to the public by way of a broadcast or by way of performance of a literary or musical work and sound recording which has already been published may do so subject to the provisions of this section.”
Therefore , under Section 31(D)(1) every broadcasting organisation has been granted a statutory license. However, for the invocation of the said statutory license every broadcasting organisation must comply with the remaining provisions of the Section.
The remaining provisions are Section 31D (2) to (7) read with Rule 29 to 31 of Copyright Rules 2013 provides the means, mode, method and manner of how the said statutory license may be invoked and are in that sense procedural in nature since they lay down the procedure for the invocation of the statutory license so granted by the Act.
Therefore, such a statutory license may be acted upon on after giving a prior notice to the copyright owner and on the payment of the royalties at the rate fixed by the Appellate Board. However, Rule 29 of the Copyright Rules 2013 (“Rules”) in its proviso iii provides that “Provided also that any broadcasting organisation shall give a notice under this Chapter only after the royalty to be paid is determined by the Board under rule 31 and published in the Official Gazette and in the website of the Copyright Office and the Board”.
Thus, the effect of Section 31D read with the aforesaid proviso is that although the statute itself grants a statutory license to every broadcasting organisation, but such a license may be invoked or acted upon only after the Copyright Board makes a determination regarding the royalties to be paid to the owners of the copyrighted works.
Hence, the only question to be determined is the question regarding payments of monies in terms of royalties to the copyright owners and there is no question on the grant of the license per se by anyone because the statute itself has provided.
In coming days , once the rates are determined by IPAB (The Board) and the payments are made accordingly, any Broadcasting Organisation ( Radio , TV or Internet ) can play the contents of Literary , Musical and Sound Recording without any fear of Infringement pursuant to Copyright Act 1957.