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Section 31C of Copyright Act 1957: Statutory Licence for Cover Versions

Section 31C (Statutory licence for cover versions) under Chapter VI (Licences) of the Copyright Act 1957

❝(1) Any person desirous of making a cover version, being a sound recording in respect of any literary, dramatic or musical work, where sound recordings of that work have been made by or with the licence or consent of the owner of the right in the work, may do so subject to the provisions of this section:

Provided that such sound recordings shall be in the same medium as the last recording, unless the medium of the last recording is no longer in current commercial use.

(2) The person making the sound recordings shall give prior notice of his intention to make the sound recordings in the manner as may be prescribed, and provide in advance copies of all covers or labels with which the sound recordings are to be sold, and pay in advance, to the owner of rights in each work royalties in respect of all copies to be made by him, at the rate fixed by the Appellate Board in this behalf:

Provided that such sound recordings shall not be sold or issued in any form of packaging or with any cover or label which is likely to mislead or confuse the public as to their identity, and in particular shall not contain the name or depict in any way any performer of an earlier sound recording of the same work or any cinematograph film in which such sound recording was incorporated and, further, shall state on the cover that it is a cover version made under this section.

(3) The person making such sound recordings shall not make any alteration in the literary or musical work which has not been made previously by or with the consent of the owner of rights, or which is not technically necessary for the purpose of making the sound recordings:

Provided that such sound recordings shall not be made until the expiration of five calendar years after the end of the year in which the first sound recordings of the work was made.

(4) One royalty in respect of such sound recordings shall be paid for a minimum of fifty thousand copies of each work during each calendar year in which copies of it are made:

Provided that the Appellate Board may, by general order, fix a lower minimum in respect of works in a particular language or dialect having regard to the potential circulation of such works.

(5) The person making such sound recordings shall maintain such registers and books of account in respect thereof, including full details of existing stock as may be prescribed and shall allow the owner of rights or his duly authorised agent or representative to inspect all records and books of account relating to such sound recording:

Provided that if on a complaint brought before the Appellate Board to the effect that the owner of rights has not been paid in full for any sound recordings purporting to be made in pursuance of this section, the Appellate Board is, prima facie, satisfied that the complaint is genuine, it may pass an order ex parte directing the person making the sound recording to cease from making further copies and, after holding such inquiry as it considers necessary, make such further order as it may deem fit, including an order for payment of royalty.

Explanation.— For the purposes of this section “cover version” means a sound recording made in accordance with this section.❞



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Notes:

Section 31C of the Copyright Act 1957 was inserted by the Copyright (Amendment) Act 2012 (No. 27 of 2012), sec. 18, w.e.f. 21-Jun-2012.

Further, Section 31C of the Copyright Act 1957 was amended by:
- the Finance Act, 2017 (No. 7 of 2017), sec. 160, w.e.f. 26-May-2017.

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