No license required for using the sound recordings during marriages

Upon examination of representations received from various stakeholders the question as to whether it is essential to obtain a license for using sound recordings in furtherance of any marriage related function has been clearly elucidated, thereby leaving no room for any ambiguity.

While providing a clarification in respect to the aforesaid question, the Copyright Office has reiterated what has already been laid down in the Explanation of Section 52 (1) ( za) of the Copyright Act, 1957 thus, confirming that marriage procession and other social festivities associated thereto are included within the purview of the term religious ceremony under the said Section.

Section 52 of the Act enlists certain acts that do not constitute an infringement of copyright. Specifically Section 52 (1) (za) of the Act states as follows:

‘the performance of a literary, dramatic or musical work or the communication to the public of such work or of a sound recording in the course of any bona fide religious ceremony or an official ceremony held by the Central Government or the State Government or any local authority.

Explanation-For the purpose of this clause, religious ceremony including a marriage procession and other social festivities associated with a marriage.”

In view of the above, any sound recording being used in the course of religious ceremony including a marriage procession and other social festivities associated thereto, shall not amount to infringement of copyright and hence no license is required to be obtained in furtherance of the same.

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