Delhi High Court grants Rs.21 lakhs in damages against unlicensed broadcast of copyrighted music

T-Series granted Rs.21 lakhs in damages against television broadcaster airing music from its repository without licence and payment of royalties.

Super Cassettes, a music company that commissions and manages musical works under the T-Series brand, became aware in 2009 that the defendant, a news broadcaster, was making unlicensed use of music from the T-Series repertoire.

Upon commencement of legal proceedings, the defendant offered to refrain from making unauthorised use of the music but refused to render accounts and past information about the music used in its broadcasts and to pay royalty arrears thereupon.

In its judgment, the court accepted submissions that the defendant had repeatedly breached Super Cassettes’ copyright. It noted that the defendant’s failure to pay licence fee “posed a grave threat to the entire creative business of the plaintiff, affecting the livelihood of many creative artists and the business of the plaintiff”.

Against such “intention of not paying the licence fee in the past … nor in the future”, the court awarded damages of Rs.21 lakhs to be paid by the defendant and ordered a permanent injunction against the defendant restraining it from publishing the plaintiff’s copyrighted works.

Super Cassettes Industries Ltd v TG Angles Pvt Ltd; before the Delhi High Court; judgment dated 20.04.2017

Other orders of the Delhi High Court upholding the right of singers to receive royalty.

Play the Music, Face the Music: Pravin Anand speaks about a singer’s ‘Performer’s Rights’.