Parliament takes up Copyright Amendment Bill for discussion

The Government has moved for discussion in the Rajya Sabha the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010 that is aimed at royalty to musicians and lyricists which was allowed only for music companies or film producers.

Though the amendment bill had been introduced in the Rajya Sabha in April last year to overwrite the bill of 1957, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has now brought to the house the amendments made by the Government after the review by the Standing Committee.

According to the amendments approved by the cabinet, the director of a film will have no copyright claims over the film.

The cabinet approved the HRD ministry’s proposal to delete a clause in the Copyright Bill which allowed the film director to claim copyright over the film along with the producer and the author.

The bill proposed that the producer and the principal director shall be treated jointly as the first owner of copyright.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee had recommended that the clause should be deleted following objections raised by film producers, a decision endorsed by the Cabinet.

The union cabinet accepted another recommendation of the standing committee to allow access of material protected under copyright free of cost to disabled persons.

Broadcasters object to changes in Copyright Bill

Television broadcasters have objected to some of the changes in the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010 as it has excluded them from the ambit of the statutory licensing provisions.

Broadcasters fear this could lead to legal fights between them and the music content owners. Under the statutory licensing norms, music companies would have had to give them content without any discrimination; the royalties would have been decided by the Copyright Board.

The Bill has been placed in the Rajya Sabha for discussion, after getting the Cabinet nod.

The News Broadcasters Association (NBA) has noted ‘with regret and apprehension’ the changes introduced by the Human Resource Development Ministry in the Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2010.

The NBA said by the change, the provision of statutory licensing has been sought to be restricted only to “radio” and not to other broadcasting media like television.

In a press note, the NBA said this will benefit only vested business interests and act to the serious detriment of the fast growing broadcasting industry.

“These changes are also an attempt by the Ministry to overreach the Parliamentary Standing Committee, which had implicitly accepted the earlier dispensation,” the NBA said in a statement.

The NBA expressed the hope that the Ministry would restore the earlier provision covering all broadcasting media.

Source : Internet Media

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