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Performing Rights under Copyrights

Performing Rights
Performing Rights


Performers' Rights

Section 38 of the Copyright Act addresses the rights of performers, introducing moral rights for actors, musicians, dancers, and other performers.

The Copyright (Amendment) Act of 1994 introduced performers' rights for various performers, including actors, dancers, musicians, and others. These rights were further amended by the Copyright (Amendment) Act, 2012.

Definition of Performer

According to section 2(qq), a performer includes individuals such as acrobats, musicians, singers, actors, jugglers, snake charmers, lecturers, and others who make a performance. 'Performance' refers to any live visual or acoustic presentation by one or more performers, which also encompasses activities like cricket matches.


Duration of Performers' Rights

Performers' rights last for fifty years from the year following the performance. If a performance is included in a cinematograph film through a written agreement, the performer cannot object to the producer enjoying rights in the film without a contract stating otherwise. However, performers are entitled to royalties if their performance is commercially exploited.

In CISAC v. Aditya Pandey, the Supreme Court clarified the royalty entitlement of lyricists and composers concerning derivative works like sound recordings.

Exclusive Rights of Performers

Performers have exclusive rights, including making sound or visual recordings, broadcasting or communicating performances to the public, except when already broadcast.

Moral Rights of Performers

Section 38B provides moral rights to performers, including the right to be identified as the performer and to restrain any prejudicial modifications to their performance.

Exceptions to Performers' Rights

Section 39 specifies acts that do not constitute infringement of performers' rights, such as private recordings, teaching or research purposes, and fair dealing.

Licensing and Broadcast Reproduction

A licence is required to reproduce broadcasts where copyright or performers' rights subsist, except when the broadcast constitutes copyright infringement.


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