The Bombay high court has restrained over 600 hotels, restaurants and pubs from playing songs that have a copyright, during New Year eve celebrations, without obtaining a licence.

The orders were passed on a bunch of applications filed by Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) and Novex.

PPL, a collective rights management organisation, claims to have public performance rights of over 25 lakh songs. Novex, a recent entity created in 2002, also claims to hold public performance rights of songs and works of many big music companies.

The Madras high court has restrained several pubs and hotels based on a petition by the Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS).

IPRS is the only registered copyright society under the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, which serves to protect and enforce the rights of its authors, music composers and music publishers and collects/distributes royalties for the exploitation of its members’ literary and musical works by various end users. The orders invoke the copyright law and its salutary provisions to protect the rights of its authors and music composers.

Novex had filed six different suits before the Bombay high court against several hotels, resorts and pubs.

The dispute over whether the assignees like PPL and Novex have the rights to collect the royalties is still to be finally decided before the Bombay high court but, till then, the HC has directed hotels and restaurants to play by the rule book or face the music.