Copyright societies to publish annual transparency report

The Centre has notified the changes to amend the Copyright Rules, 2013 which provide that the copyright society in relation to collection of royalty will create a system of payment through electronic modes and shall establish a system through which the payments so made are traceable.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry has notified the Copyright (Amendment) Rules, 2021. The copyright society must draw up and make public a special report to be referred to as the annual transparency report for each financial year within six months following the end of that financial year. The copyright society shall publish on its website the annual transparency report and ensure that the annual transparency report remains available on its website for at least three years.

The notification to the rules issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry provide that the Chairman and other members of the Appellate Board shall be appointed as per the provisions of the Trade Marks Act, 1999.

It provides that a copyright society must ensure that where the royalty cannot be distributed within the time specified as the relevant author or other owner could not be identified or located such royalties are kept separate in the accounts of the copyright society.

A copyright society must take all necessary measures to identify and locate the authors and other owners and must publish on its website, at the end of every quarter, the following information: (a) the title of the work; (b) the name of the author and other right owners of the work, as available; and (c) any other relevant information available which could assist in identifying the right holder.

In case the royalty due to author and other owners remains undistributed at the end of the period of three years from the end of the financial year in which collection of the royalty occurred, the copyright society shall transfer such amount to the welfare fund of the copyright society.

The annual transparency report must contain information, namely a report on the activities in the financial year, number of refusals to grant a licence, financial information on total royalties collected, the total royalties paid to author and other owners, the total royalties collected but not yet attributed to author and other owners, the total administrative deductions made from royalty collected, the details and use of the amounts deducted for the activities conducted under the welfare scheme and information on amounts received from and paid to the foreign societies or organisation.

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