Legality of services related to broadcast of live events

By Manoj K Singh, Singh & Associates

The tremendous growth in the sports industry and sports viewership across the globe has led to a growing integration between the law and sports. As more viewers watch through broadcast than live at the sports ground, the live broadcasting business has been doing exceptionally well in recent years. Providing seamless connectivity, proactive collaboration and access to content in real time are the key requirements of such live broadcasts.

Manoj Singh Partner Singh & Associates
Manoj Singh
Singh & Associates

In terms of the Indian legal scenario, a question which needs to be answered is whether the copyright in sports events broadcast live by various means and the rights regarding value-added services arising out of the broadcasting of these events are covered by India’s Copyright Act, 1957. The act provides the right of copyright in “original” literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works, cinematographic films and sound recordings.

The act does not specifically deal with the live broadcasting of sports events although such events could fall under section 13(b), which protects cinematographic films; section 37, which protects the rights of broadcasting organizations; and section 38, which protects the rights of performers.

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Manoj K Singh is the founding partner of Singh & Associates, a full-service international law firm headquartered in New Delhi.

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