An Overview of Music License

Music is a type of intangible property that is protected by IPR. Without a valid Music License, no person or business entity has the authority to play music in public places for any commercial purpose. In India, the Copyright Act of 1957 requires all pubs, cafes, hotels, bars, and restaurants that play music in their establishments to obtain a Music License. This license is issued by two primary organizations: Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) and the Indian Performing Right Society (IPRS).

The IPRS is the primary authority that issues Music Licenses to individuals or businesses such as shops, bars, and so on. It is a corporation with offices all over India. Aside from this organization, there is the Copyright Society for Sound Recording, which falls under the purview of the PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited). PPL issues Music Licenses for restaurant performances, and the IPRS would be used if any business or restaurant desired some type of live performance. As a result, every restaurant or bar must have a Music License for both live and pre-recorded performances. The Indian government has made this a mandatory requirement for a restaurant to operate.

This License allows artists to earn royalties for their music by granting permission to someone who wants to use it. If an individual or a business entity uses someone else's music that a third party will hear, they must have this License. This License will include usage and term rights, which will govern how the song is used.

Who can apply for Music License in India?

Following establishments can obtain a Music License in India:

  1. Mall and Discos;

  2. Hotels, Motels, Bed, and Boarding & lodging;

  3. Marriage Halls, Commercial Banquets;

  4. Performances that occur in large areas;

  5. Amusement parks;

  6. Pubs & Restaurants;

  7. Transportation services;

  8. Commercial spaces, retail outlets, and showrooms.

Benefits of Music License in India
  1. By attaining a music license, an artist can easily use the platform to showcase their talent to the entire world;

  2. This License augments the popularity and the awareness regarding a particular song of an artist.

  3. An artist's creation is protected by way of copyright as it reduces or minimises the chances of copying and stealing the song.

  4. This License provides various earning sources to the artists by increasing the number of downloads, a total number of views, and subscriptions.

  5. This License allows artists to perform their work in concerts, events, broadcasting, etc.

Documents Required for Music License
  • Personal Details such as the Name, Address, Nationality;
  • Details concerning the business.
  • Detailed list regarding the type of music the applicant will play or use.
  • If one is into an LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) business, then the applicant must submit the Partnership Deed & in the case of a company, then the Certificate of Incorporation, MoA & AoA is required.
  • PAN & Aadhar Card.
  • GST Registration Certificate.
  • Address Proof such as the latest Electricity Bill, Voter ID, and Driving License.
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