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Significance Of Compulsory Licensing Under Copyright Law

Compulsory Licensing:

Compulsory license is a statutory license that gives the liberty to use the copyrighted work without permission from the copyright owner. It is an exclusive right to do an act related to the copyrighted work. This is practiced whenever a copyrighted work is withheld from the public domain.
There are few details that should be included in a license agreement, some of them are the work and rights which are licensed needs to be identified, duration or the time period of the license, the royalty that is payable and the agreement shall also include the terms and conditions related to the license which includes the conditions for the extension or termination of the license.
There are two important things that needs to keep in mind, one is that the license should be in a written form and it should be signed by the copyright owner or any other agent authorized by him.

 A compulsory license is covered under Section 31 to 31B of Indian Copyright Act.

At present, there are five types of compulsory licenses in India. These are the kinds licenses of which include the  works withheld from the public without the appropriate reason, the second type of license is related to orphan works, the third type of license is related to the differently abled, other types include the licenses related to translations and the last one is licenses related to the reproduction and sale of works which are not available in India.
Why it is Important?
Compulsory Licensing in the copyrighted work is important due to various reasons such as, it provides access to the works that have been unreasonably withheld from the public domain. It provides access to the public so that it can be used for various academic and beneficial reasons. As it is well known that it gives license for various kinds of the license which includes orphan works as well as the works from a disabled person.

 It is also important as compulsory licensing can be granted in cases of unpublished works where the author dies before the publishing of the work and through means of compulsory licensing it can be brought in the public domain. The case of unpublished work includes authors which are unknown, dead or who cannot be traced and as a result, any person can request the board and seek a license to publish the work.

The main motive behind compulsory licensing is to give the availability of the work to the public so that they can use and benefit from the work for various purposes. It is also important to note that the work should be used in a fair manner and no malpractices should be practiced. When the copyright works will be available to all with certain limitations it will lead to better development of the country.
Case Studies
One of the most landmark judgments is the �Entertainment Network (India) Ltd. V. Super Cassette Industries Ltd.�, in the present case while radio Mirchi was playing songs, super cassette claimed the rights on it. It also filed for a permanent injuction at the same time. At the time of the pending of the suit the FM operators also applied for the grant of compulsory licensing under the copyright act.

The issue which was in question was whether the granting of the compulsory license was viable at this time and the court said that compulsory licensing can only be granted when denied to public access and in the present case the license was already granted to the AIR and Radio City so Radio Mirchi was liable for the infringement of copyright. It is a case from the year 2004.

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