The Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) has won a copyright infringement case against Kingdom of Dreams, billed as the country's first live entertainment, theatre and leisure destination in Gurgaon near Delhi. In its ruling, the Delhi High Court has directed Wizcraft's spinoff Great Indian Nautanki Company (GINC), which owns Kingdom of Dreams, to pay a compensation of Rs 15 lakh to continue playing musical and literary works belonging to IPRS' repertoire.
File pic of Kingdom Of Dreams, owned by Great Indian Nautanki Company
The counsel for the company had pointed out that IPRS has withdrawn its application for re-registration and hence, is not entitled to issue and grant licences. However, Justice AK Pathak directed the counsel to deposit Rs 15 lakh with the Registrar General of High Court within four weeks.
Himanshu Magai, one of the lawyers for IPRS, says GINC is an ex licensee of the Society and they stopped paying license fee/ royalty about 18 months ago. “Keeping that in mind and recognising IPRS as the owner of rights, the Delhi High Court passed an interim ruling asking GINC to deposit the money with the court registrar towards license fee,” he adds.
On the other hand, advocate Abhishek Malhotra, who represented GINC in court, explains, "The court after initially considering the allegation of both parties has adjourned the case for hearing on the issue of whether the IPRS can collect money or not after the amendment and in the meanwhile, without prejudice to the rights of GINC, the court has asked that Rs 15 lakh be deposited with the registrar's office within four weeks."
Rakesh Nigam, CEO of IPRS, says, "The order of Delhi High Court will put to rest speculations of music users about whether they need to obtain licence from IPRS. The order upholds and confirms that a music licence from IPRS by paying licence fees/ royalty is required as it is the owner of copyrights, although it is not a copyright society."