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Copyright Act, 1957


31. Compulsory license in works with held from public-

(1) If at any time during the term of copyright in any Indian work which has been published or performed in public, a complaint is made to the Copyright Board that the owner of copyright in the work-

a. has refused to republish or allow the republication of the work or has refused to allow the performance in public of the work, and by reason of such refusal the work is with held from the public, or

behest refused to allow communication to the public by [(Note: Subs. for "radio-diffusion" by Act 23 of 1983, S.2 (w.e.f. 9-8-1984)) broadcast] of such work or in the case of a [(Note: Subs. by Act 38 of 1994, S.2 (xii) (w.e.f. a date to be notified)) sound recording] the work recorded in such [(Note: Subs. by Act 38 of 1994, S.2 (xii) (w.e.f. a date to be notified)) sound recording,] on terms which the complainant considers reasonable;

The Copyright Board, after giving to the owner of the copyright in the work reasonably opportunity of being heard and after holding such inquiry, as it may deemed necessary. May, if it is satisfied that the grounds for such refusal are not reasonable, direct the Registrar of Copyrights to grant to the complainant a license to republish the work, perform the work in public or communicate the work to the public by [(Note: Subs. for "radio-diffusion" by Act 23 of 1983, S.2 (w.e.f. 9-8-1984)) broadcast], as the case may be, subject to payment to the owner of the copyright of such compensation and subject to such other terms and conditions as the Copyright Board may determine, and thereupon the Registrar of Copyrights shall grant the license of the complainant in accordance with the direction of the Copyright Board, on payment of such fees, as may be prescribed.

Explanation - In this sub section, the expression "Indian work" includes-

i. an artistic work, the author of which is a citizen of India, and

ii. a cinematograph film or a [(Note: Subs. by Act 38 of 1994, S.2 (xii) (w.e.f. a date to be notified)) sound recording] made or manufactured in India.

(2) Where two or more persons have made a complaint under sub section (1), the license shall be granted to the complainant who in the opinion of the Copyright Board would best serve the interests of the general public.



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