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Delhi High Court Appoints Expert To Assist On Fair Use Of Sound Recordings In Marriage Ceremonies U/S 52(1)(za) Of Copyright Act

[17 May 2022] The Delhi High Court has appointed Dr. Arul George Scaria as an expert to assist it in the interpretation of sec. 52(1)(za) of the Copyright Act, 1957 to the extent of fair use and fair dealing of sound recordings in marriage ceremonies and weddings. Dr. Scaria is the Associate Professor of Law and Co-Director, Centre for Innovation, IP and Competition at National law University, Delhi. Justice Pratibha M Singh was of the view that the issue raised would have large scale implications for artists such as lyricists, music composers, singers, sound recording producers and owners on the one hand as also, for entities involved in the organisation and management of weddings and other social events. “The issue would also concern society in general,” the Court added. It also said “This Court is of the opinion that, in the Indian context, music is an integral part of any wedding or marriage ceremony. The kind of music played typically ranges from devotional or spiritual music for the purposes of the marriage ceremony to popular music in various languages. Apart from the actual marriage ceremony itself, there are other ceremonies such as tilak, sagan, cocktail parties, dinner, mehndi, sangeet, etc., which have become an integral part of the wedding festivities. In all such ceremonies also music is played. The above provision was inserted into the statute by virtue of The Copyright Amendment Act 1994 w.e.f.10th May 1995.”

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