India: Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2019 – Much Needed Amendment?

Last Updated: 24 July 2019
Article by Vidushi Trehan

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry from the Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal trade (DPIIT), by a notification on 30th May, 2019 published a draft of certain rules to amend The Copyright Rules, 2013 which are known as the principal Rules. The alleged motive of such amendments is to bring copyright law into line with other relevant laws and to ensure that it is in step with the technological advances of the current digital age. Following are the highlights of the draft amendments:

  • Adios "Copyright Board" :

The first major change brought in the 2019 Amendment Rule is the substitution of "The Copyright Board" mentioned in Chapter 2, Rule 3 of the Copyright Rules, 2013 by "The Appellate Board". The amendment states that the formation such new board shall be as per the provisions of The Trademarks Act,1999 and further entails the qualifications required for being a "Technical Member" of the Board.[1]

  • "through electronic means", "each mode of broadcast", "on its Website":

– "through electronic means" has been inserted before "by registered post" to encompass e-communication within the ambit of the Act.

– "each mode of broadcast" has substituted "by way of radio broadcast, television broadcast"/ " radio and television broadcasting"

– "In its official Gazette" has been substituted by "on its website"(c)

The addition and substitution of the above mentioned words has been done to expand the scope of statutory licenses to include all types of broadcasting services. Such act of widening the horizon of copyright framework to bring all forms of broadcasters under its ambit, will improve accountability and transparency thus, making this amendment a positive one.

"BROADCAST" ISSUE: Rules 29 to 31 deals with Statutory license for broadcasting of literary and musical works and sound recordings will be amended to include "each mode of broadcast" for the words "radio broadcast or television broadcast. Keeping in consideration the recent battle between Tips and Wynk[1] & Spotify and WMR, it wouldn't be wrong to state that the current amendments in discussion are being made not only to keep up with the tech savvy world but also to broaden the ambit of the word "Broadcast" in reference to Section 31-D of The Copyright Act, 1957. It would be pertinent to note that the court clearly held that "BROADCAST" in respect to Section 31-D of The Act includes only Radio and Television broadcasting as the section talks specifically about the "rates of royalties for radio broadcasting" and "television broadcasting"

Justice Kathawalla also agreed that the internet and digital technologies such as streaming and downloads were prevalent when the Copyright Act was amended in 2012 and that Section 31D was framed keeping this in mind so it was never intended to include "internet broadcasting" organisations.[2] Thus, it appears that the Draft Rules have attempted to remedy the basis of the decision in Tips v. Wynk [3] by expressly including all modes of broadcasting within the statutory licensing regime. Internet streaming/online streaming is becoming the lifeline of the entertainment world and further, the economy. Such inclusion is important and inevitable in an era where survival without internet is impossible

  • Copyright Society:

The thrust of the Draft Amendments seems to introduce transparency in the functioning of copyright societies:
TARIFF SHEMES: The amendments suggest substitution of the words "consult the user groups" by the following guidelines for fixing the tariff for copyright societies (RULE 56, Sub Rule-4):

 "and may also consider: (a) cross-sectional tariff comparisons; (b) economic research; (c) the nature and scope of the use of the work; (d) the commercial value of the rights in use; (e) the benefits to licensees;" 

DIPP has proposed in the amendments that when fixing its tariff the copyright society may consider (RULE 57, Sub Rule – 5): "(a) class of works; (b) nature of use of work; (c) modes of communication to public. (d) prevailing standards of royalties with regard to such works; (f) commercial value of the rights in use; (g) benefits to licensees; (h) such other matters as may be considered relevant by the Board."

The amendment gives out in detail certain criteria's on which the tariff schemes of the copyright societies should be based, thus expanding the ambit of RULE 56 And 57 as provided in Copyright Rules, 2013. It gives a better base for coming up with adequate tariff scheme

The proposed changes in respect of the tariff schemes aim to provide an elaborate framework for deciding the tariff scheme as the same has been in question in the recent tiff between IPRS and Organization obtaining license from them. The guidelines aim for better transparency and compliance in deciding the tariff scheme. They aim to resolve the issues raised in respect of the same.[1]


A Sub-Rule is proposed to be added to Rule 58 of The Copyright Act, 1957 stating that there should be a separate account in the copyright societies to keep in store the amount payable as royalty to an author or owner who in the current situation could not be found or located. In case the royalty due to author and other owners remains undistributed at the end of the period of three years from the end of the financial year in which collection of the royalty occurred, the copyright society shall refund such amount to the licensee within a period of three months from the end of such financial year.[1]


A new Article 65A has been proposed requiring copyright companies to publish an "annual report on transparency" within six months of the end of each financial year. Such report shall include, but not be limited to, a report on the activities of the exercise, information on the denial of a license, a description of the legal and administrative structure of the copyright society, and financial information on the rights revenue for each category of rights managed any use, financial information on royalties of authors and other owners, information on relations with foreign companies or organizations, etc.

  • In the principal rules, after clause (l) of sub-rule (1) of Rule 66[1], the following new clause shall be inserted, namely–

"(m) the facility to search from the database of works forming part of the repertoire of the copyright society.

(n) the annual transparency report as approved by the General Body.

(o) the details of the undistributed royalties on account of the work belonging to authors and other owners who could not be identified or located."[2]

The facility to search

  • Application Fee:

The amendment in Rule 83 states that the fee is payable under the Act and the rules as specified in the second schedule and no application shall be entertained if not accompanied with the prescribed fee. The mode of payment has been updated to be paid electronically or by demand draft or Banker's cheque in favour of the Registrar of Copyrights drawn on a scheduled bank at New Delhi

  • Miscellaneous:

Further, the notification suggests changes in the Forms with respect to "The Copyright Board" being replaced by "The Appellate Board" and expanding the scope by changing "goods" to "goods or services" in Serial Number 9 & 10 of the Schedule II. To conclude, the Amendment rules, 2019 have suggested changes viable to keep the Act updated with the tech-savvy culture. The use of electronic means of communication has been envisaged in the recommended amendments along with provisions seeking smooth and transparent functioning of the copyright societies. The term "broadcast" aims to now include every mode of broadcast and will no more limited to radio and television broadcasting. Thus, it would be fine to say that the suggested Amendments are well framed and thought of to achieve its objective.


[1] The Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2019,

[2] Tips Industries Ltd. V Wynk Media Ltd, Notice of Motion (L) No. 197 of 2018 IN Commercial Suit IP (L) No. 114 of 2018

[3] Amit Gurbaxani, What Tips-Wynk legal row, invoking Section 31D of Indian Copyright Act, means for music fans,, (accessed on 17th June'19)

[4] Supra 2

[5] //

[6] 66. Code of Conduct for copyright societies


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
S.S. Rana & Co. Advocates
In association with
Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
S.S. Rana & Co. Advocates
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions