Film producers have rights to display their work (including lyrics/music work of others) in public: DHC

Highlighting the differences between the rights of the film producers and lyrics/music creators respectively on their work product, Delhi High Court ruled that once the author of a lyric or a musical work parts with a portion of his copyright by authorising a film producer to make a cinematograph film in respect of his work and thereby to have his work incorporated or recorded on the sound track of a cinematograph film, the latter acquires a copyright which gives him the exclusive right inter alia of performing the work in public.

The Court said “Thus if an author (composer) of a lyric or musical work authorises a cinematograph film producer to make a cinematograph film of his composition by recording it on the sound track of a cinematograph film, he cannot complain of the infringement of his copyright if the author (owner) of the cinematograph film causes the lyric or musical work recorded on the sound track of the film to be heard in public……… The composer of a lyric or a musical work, however, retains the right of performing it in public for profit otherwise than as a part of the cinematograph film and he cannot be restrained from doing so.”

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