Music License

All performances and events played in Hotels, Restaurants and Theatres’ require license for music. Categorically music or a song is a form of intangible intellectual property right. Such rights are governed by the provisions of the Copyrights Act, 1957 (The ‘Act’). Such act governs all literalistic..

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Music License- An Overview

The Copyrights Act, 1957 governs music license in India. It is a form of intellectual property right governed by the characteristics of being intangible. To determine the author’s work, it is first crucial to understand the meaning of works under the Act. According to section 2(d) of the Act, an author means an individual’s that composes music.

As an individual composes music, the principle of originality would apply to the music produced by the author. This automatically attracts some form of protection when it comes to artistic work. Hence the provisions of the Copyright Act would be considered for music license registration.

The primary authority that grants music licenses to businesses such as shops, restaurants and bars is the Indian Performing Rights Society (IPRS). It is a body corporate with offices throughout India. Apart from this organisation, there is the Copyright Society for Sound Recording which is under the Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL). This organisation issues music license for performances in restaurants. The IPRS would be utilised if any business or restaurant wants some form of live performance.

Hence every restaurant or bar must own a music license for per-recorded performance and live performance. The government of India has mandated this as a compulsory requirement for a restaurant to conduct business.

Types of Music License

There are two types of music license which can be obtained by a pub, bar, restaurant or any other business:

Types of Music License

Pre-Recorded Music License-

Usually this form of license is used by different forms of hotels, bars and restaurants. If a restaurant or a hotel wants to consider this form of license, then they would have to apply to the PPL to issue this form of license. The main difference for this license is that music is pre-recorded. Hence this form of license would be applicable.

Public Performance Music License-

Usually this form of license would be used by large clubs, discos, restaurants and hotels. If the business wants this form of music license in India, then they would have to apply to the IPRS for securing such license. Issuing such licenses would protect the author of the music produced in the country.

Which Establishments can secure a Music License in India?

The following establishments can secure a Music License in India:

Which Establishments can secure a Music License in India

Benefits of Music License

The following benefits can be enjoyed by securing a music license in India:

Benefits of Music License

Compliance with Law-

Securing a music license for a restaurant will ensure that the business maintains compliance. Plus any establishment or restaurant not securing a music license would be penalised by the government of India.

Public Performance-

By taking the IPRS music license, public performances can occur at restaurants and pubs. This will directly attract more crowd and increase the reputation of the restaurant. Live performances are meant to increase the reputation of public, when compared to a restaurant that has pre-recorded music.


Through such license, the popularity of the restaurant can increase. In case of live performance, the public would be more attracted to live shows. The popularity of the artist will increase through such events.

Copyright Protection to Original Artist-

Under the Copyrights Act, 1957 all original works are automatically protected as per the act. Hence complying with the requirements of the music license would protect the music from reproduction and distribution.

Forms of Music License

There are specific types of Music Licenses which are allocated to artists based on the works produced:

Forms of Music License

Public Performance License-

This form of license is taken by a specific restaurant or hotel when they have artists that come and perform publically. This is one of the common licenses provided by the specific licensing authority. Such licenses are provided when music is played live through a specific concert. Usually this form of license would be considered if music is played through some form of juke box or live performance.

Master License-

In this form of license, the original producer allows the business to utilize some form of pre-recorded version of the music. Usually this form of music is considered for any form of audio visual project. However, re-recording the song is not allowed under this form of process. The main reason why this form of license is known as the master license as the original author of the music is the license holder.

Mechanical License-

Mechanical License is primarily used for commercial purposes. Here the original producer would consider music to be reproduced through audio visual devices, CDS, publications, live streaming devices and other music applications. The original music creator would have some form of contract or written agreement such as assignment or licensing the rights for a particular fee or royalty for every copy which is reproduced in the market.

Sync License-

Usually this form of license is utilised for TV ads, commercials, movies and other forms of advertisements. In this form of license usually, such music that is already created by the original composer is synchronised with existing ads and broadcasting. All companies that develop commercials and utilise pre-produced music will require this form of license.

Procedure for Online Music License Registration (Music License in India)

Procedure for Online Music License Registration

Visit the Official Website-

The applicant for music license registration in India has to visit the official website. This will be the IPRS for any form of live or public performance license. However, the IPRS also provides music licenses based on the requirements of the business. This will include license provided for music streaming, OTT platforms, businesses, restaurants, 5-star hotels and other forms of establishments. The official website is present in the following link Apart from this the applicant can also visit the official website of the PPL . The applicant would utilise this for applying for different forms of music license. Based on the requirements, the applicant would have to apply as per the requirements of the business.

Click on the License Required-

After visiting the above websites, the applicant has to click on the type of music license required. There are different categories of music licenses which are granted to the applicant. If the applicant wants to apply for music license for the restaurant then the form for music license for restaurant must be clicked on. After this information must be provided on the form which is provided to the applicant. The applicant can also login to a music license registration portal. Through this portal it is straightforward for an applicant to apply for a music license. However, under this process the applicant would have to register as a new user.

Provide the Details and Service which is utilized-

If the applicant is applying for ‘Music Works and Accompanying Literary Works within the premises’ then the details must be provided in compliance with the laws. The following details have to be provided by the applicant:

  • Name of the Premises.
  • Registered Address of the Premises.
  • Information such as contact details and email.
  • Details of the Services which utilise the music license.
  • Public Performance details.
  • GST Number, PAN and TAN Number.
  • Details related to the fee payable with the license allocated must be also provided.

Mention the Category of License-

There are different categories of music license which is provided by the authority. Such category has to be mentioned in the license application. For example, if a hotel is conducting a live performance, then the category of license has to be the public performance category. Similarly if there is some form of pre-recorded music that is utilized then the category of music license would be completely different.

Read the General Terms and Conditions (Tariff)-

For the information related to payment, the applicant has to go to the Tariff tab which is the price for every music license service. Any user pertaining to such license has to pay the prescribed fee along with the government taxes. Apart from this the following guidelines have to be adhered for music license in India:

  • All licenses which are provided have to be in compliance with the rules of the IPRS.
  • The applicant must pay an annual license fee which is required to be compliant with the rules of the authority.
  • If the annual license fee is not paid by the applicant, then a penalty of 18% would be levied on the actual license fee which is applicable.
  • If there is no compliance with the rules related to music license, then a penalty of 30% would be applied to the production of licenses.
  • All other guidelines related to music license must be followed by the applicant.

Submit Application-

After filling the details, the application can be submitted. Application can be submitted online, through the online portal system. Once this process is complete, the applicant would receive an email and an SMS along with the OTP (One Time Password). Once this process is complete, the IPRS will issue an introduction letter to the applicant which is an evidence of registration under this system.

Documents for Music License

  • Identification Documents- Such as the name of the applicant, PAN card, Aadhaar Information and registered place of business of the applicant.
  • Information related to the business- Name of the business, registered address of the business, type of business (whether restaurant or a bar etc).
  • Information on Music- Information pertaining to the type of music which will be played by the applicant.
  • Incorporation Documents- Certificate of Incorporation of the Company, Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of the Business, LLP (Limited Liability Partnership) Incorporation Documents.
  • Utility Bills- Water Bills, Electricity Bills.
  • GSTIN Information.

How to reach Enterslice for Music License

  • Fill up the online form.
  • One of our professionals will get back to you.
  • All queries can be addressed to one of our experienced professionals.
  • Track and monitor the progress of your application.
  • Get Deliverables

Frequently Asked Questions

If your business is engaged in entertaining the general public by using some form of music service or public performance of reputed artists, then a music license would be required.

There are different forms of penalties for not taking this license. Such penalties can be levied by the government for not complying with the provisions of the Copyrights Act, 1957. The following penalties can be levied:

  • As per section 63 of the Copyrights Act, 1957 a case for copyright infringement can be put on the user of music without permission from the original author and the government.
  • The offender would be detained from using the music for a period exceeding up to 6 months which may increase to 3 years.
  • The offender would also be liable to pay a fine of Rs 50,000/- which may exceed to Rs 2 lakh.
  • There is a separate penalty under the provisions of section 63A of the Copyrights Act, 1957.

The meaning or definition of music under the copyrights act, 1957 would include any form of Musical Work or Musical Form of work which includes any graphical notation of the work but does not include any words or singing with the music. This definition is present under section 2(p) of the Copyrights Act, 1957.

Yes the applicant can secure more than one category of music license in India. For example, if there is a 5 star hotel, then there would be a specific category for music which is re-produced for the hotel through recordings. If the hotel wants live performance in their bar or pub another license would be required for the same.

If the music which is played in the live performance includes a backing track or filler or a minus one track, then a music license for the live performance would be required.

Yes there would be separate licenses required for background music and a specific event. Background music would improve the ambience and environment of the location.

Yes regional music can be played by having a music license.

Yes this form of license would be required for any form of public performance. The volume of the public performance is not considered when granting the license. Hence if the volume is high or low, the license would be still required for a public performance.

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