Statutory Licensing matters update: Delhi High Court sets aside Copyright Office order and public notice, asks Kuku & Koyal Internet Pvt. Ltd to approach the Appellate Board [READ ORDER]

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In the writ petitions filed by Saregama, Super Cassettes and Zee Entertainment Enterprises Limited against the interim statutory license granted by the Copyright Office to Kuku & Koyal Internet Pvt. Ltd , the Delhi High Court vide its order [read here] dated February 22, 2018 (upon mutual agreement of Petitioner and Respondent 4) directed the following:

i) The impugned order dated 10.4.2017 and the impugned public notice dated 24.1.2018 be set aside.

ii) Respondent no.4 (Kuku & Koyal Internet Pvt. Ltd) will approach the Appellate Board as envisaged under Section 31D of the Copyright Act, 1957 (in short “the Act”). Respondent no.4, if it so desires, will make an appropriate application in terms of Section 31 D of the Act.

iii) Any application moved by respondent no.4 as envisaged in paragraph 3(ii) above will not prevent the petitioner from raising objections qua the maintainability of the application including the objection concerning jurisdiction of the Appellate Board to decide the application.

iv) The Appellate Board will adjudicate upon the application, if so filed, after giving due opportunity to contesting parties, within a reasonably quick time though not later than eight weeks from the date of completion of the pleadings.

v) All rights and contentions of the parties shall remain open, which will be ruled upon by the Appellate Board, albeit, in accordance with law.

The Court also took note that presently only the Chairperson of the Appellate Board is in position and the appointment of the technical members is underway and the same is pending consideration in W.P. (C) 3671/ 2017 [Umesh Shah vs Union of India- Read latest order here].

As mentioned in my earlier posts[read my posts here, here and here], the aforementioned music labels had challenged the interim statutory license granted by the Copyright Office in favour of internet company Kuku & Koyal Internet Pvt. Ltd primarily on the ground of the Deputy Registrar of Copyright lacking jurisdiction to pass such an order and the procedure by which it was granted.