The Copyright Enforcement Wing of Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), which has been mandated to crack down on violation of playing copyright music in public events, organised the first police induction training programme on the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 on Thursday.
“The main problem is lack of awareness amongst the public about the Act. People are not aware that playing copyrighted music without a licence is not permissible legally,” said PPL regional manager Partho Chakraborty.
The training programme was conducted to raise awareness among police officials so that they can take action in case of any violation.
Even though the Act has been in place since 1957, there is a need for amendment of the Act according to the requirement of every state before its implementation. The Act was introduced in Odisha in 2007.
Phonographic Performance Limited area manager Sudhanshu Kumar Ranasingh spoke about how major public events are taking place in Janata Maidan or hotels, but they are not opting for the Public Performance Licence prior to the event.
“Either the organisers feign ignorance or they actually do not know of the existence of the Act,” Ranasingh added.
Public events that involve playing copyright music need to obtain a licence from the Copyright Enforcement Wing. According to the Act, restaurants, bars, hotels and public events like college fests where copyrighted music (for example Bollywood songs) are played without obtaining licence, are in violation of the Act.
The violators can be penalised for infringement of the Act and can be punished either with imprisonment for a period of six months (which may go up to three years) and fine not less than ` 50,000 (which might go up to ` 3 lakh).
The police officials present at the programme said that even though the implementation of the programme seemed difficult in the present scenario, it was not impossible. With the college fest season coming up, Chakraborty hoped that they would approach them for the permit. A few of the major colleges in the city have already started taking the permit before any major event.