1709 Blog: for all the copyright community

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Compulsory licensing and civil jurisdiction in India

Amit Jamsandekar has just sent me a copy of the judgment of the Division Bench of the Bombay High Court, which last week decided an important issue relating to the jurisdiction of a civil court in matters relating to compulsory licensing of sound recordings for broadcasting. The Single Judge of the Bombay High Court in Music Choice India Pvt. Ltd v Phonographic Performance Limited, MIPR 2009(1)329; 2009(111) Bom LR 609 held that the jurisdiction of the civil court to deal with such matters was barred by Section 31 of the Copyright Act 1956, which conferred jurisdiction to deal with compulsory licences upon the Copyright Board. The Single Judge further held that a civil suit for injunctive and declaratory relief pending an application for a compulsory licence was not maintainable in the civil court.

This judgment was challenged by Music Choice India Pvt. Ltd and the Division Bench, having heard the appeal, has now confirmed the view taken by the Single Judge.

You can read the decision of the Single Judge here and the ruling of the Division Bench here.

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