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FHRAI COMMENDS PUNE POLICE FOR SWIFT ACTION AGAINST COPYRIGHT LICENCE AGENCIES FOR EXTRACTING MONEY FROM HOTELS

16 th Nov 2021

FHRAI COMMENDS PUNE POLICE FOR SWIFT ACTION AGAINST COPYRIGHT LICENCE AGENCIES FOR EXTRACTING MONEY FROM HOTELS

 

Appeals To Pune CP To Bring Absconding Officials Of Novex Communication To Justice

 

India's apex Hospitality Association - Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) has commended the Pune Police and its Commissioner for carrying out swift action and arresting the officials from Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). The arrests were made against the case in which two Mumbai-based private firms- PPL and Novex Communication extorted Rs.1.37 lakh from Pune based businessmen under the pretext of issuing them copyright licences for staging musical performances at marriage ceremonies in a hotel at Bund Garden in Pune. The FIR was filed against PPL and Novex Communication at Koregaon Police station based on complaints by Pune based aggrieved parties. The complaint stated that office bearers of PPL and Novex extorted a total sum of Rs.1,37,000/- and instead of mentioning ‘Marriage Ceremony’ on the N.O.C./Licence, issued the licence under ‘DJ Party’ and ‘Get Together Party’, thereby cheating the complainants financially.

 

While the accused personnel from PPL have been arrested, officials of Novex Communication are still at large. FHRAI has requested the Pune Police Commissioner to take similar action against Novex Communication as well. The Pune Sessions Court dismissed the anticipatory bail application of the accused from PPL.

 

“The law exempts obtaining licence for playing any sound recording for marriage events and related social functions held at hotels or other venues. A Public Notice to this effect has been issued by the Government in 2019. Yet, the so-called copyright licence agencies have been intimidating hotels and their patrons and bullying them into paying for licences that by law do not even need to be obtained. We thank the Pune Police for taking swift action and arresting the officials from PPL. The Hon’ble Pune Sessions Court upheld the victim’s grievance by dismissing the anticipatory bail applied by PPL. We request the Police Commissioner to take similar action against officials from Novex Communication, as they have for PPL,” says Mr Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, Vice President, FHRAI.

 

“Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of this exemption in the law and unregistered copyright agencies are misusing this to extract money from businesses as well as patrons. We have received many such complaints from our members. Such incidents have been occurring across the country for years and during wedding season the occurrences of such unlawful practice become even more rampant. We are trying to inform all our members and are also reaching out to the law enforcement agencies including the Police across States to make them aware of the illegal activities of these agencies. We request the police across the country to take cognisance of all such complaints in respective regions,” concludes Mr Pradeep Shetty, Jt. Hon. Sec., FHRAI.

 

As per notification dated 27th August 2019 issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, all religious and marriage related functions shall be exempted from payment of copyright charges. Such functions would include all religious functions, marriage functions, engagements and receptions. FHRAI has also stated that section 52 of Copyright Act 1957 provides an exemption on payment of royalty or license fees for all religious functions including marriage procession and other social festivities associated with marriage.

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THE FEDERATION OF HOTEL & RESTAURANT
ASSOCIATIONS OF INDIA

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Telephone: 011-40780780

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