Wider protection needed for broadcasters’ rights

By Rahul Chaudhry,Lall Lahiri & Salhotra

While television, radio and other entertainment media are often the subjects of discussion regarding intellectual property rights, there has been minimal discussion of broadcasters’ rights. While production of content may be a costly affair requiring tremendous creative input, the work of broadcasters is also expensive, and equally important in delivering entertainment to the public.

Rahul Chaudhry,Partner,Lall Lahiri & Salhotra
Rahul Chaudhry
Lall Lahiri & Salhotra

Broadcasters’ rights are different from the IP rights vested in the programme itself, which include author copyright on the sounds, words and pictures used to create content. Broadcasters’ rights are primarily economic and aimed at protecting the broadcaster from unauthorized use of the broadcast.

Broadcasters may suffer heavy losses if a broadcast is pirated, or re-broadcast without the royalty due being paid. At present, the law allows broadcasters to restrict the right to telecast programmes, and to control the extent and manner in which they broadcast their content. This is to allow broadcasters to recoup the costs incurred in televising or “bringing to air” any programme.

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Rahul Chaudhry was called to the bar in September 2002. He joined Lall Lahiri & Salhotra in January 2004 and became a partner just four years later. Along with the firm’s founding partners, Anuradha Salhotra and Amar Raj Lall, Chaudhry is regarded as one of the most prominent faces of IP management in India.


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