Basic Concept Of Copyright Law In India

Copyright meaning can be defined as a term that’s seen everywhere and is noticed by almost every eye. Be it TV shows, advertisements, novels or any video posted on Youtube one can notice the word @AllRightsReserved and @CopyrightsReserved at the corner of the advertisement or under any sort of personal (first-hand information) provided by the sole owner.

Let’s first understand what is Copyright and gradually we will go through its law in India:

It is the right given by the law to the creator of literary, dramatic, artistic and musical works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings also fall under it.  In a nutshell, it is the right provided by the statuettes to the authors, creators as numbered in the Copyright Act.

Read Also: Online Piracy in India

What does it actually protect?

It protects the presentation of the ideas in the tangible form but not the idea as a whole.

  • All the rights of the original work apply to the translational work as well. (i.e.) the translation of the original work is also protected by this act.
  • Computer programs are also protected under the copyright act and are considered as literary work.
  • Moreover, there is an addition that is related to all the rights, which is applicable to literary work. Here, owner of the Copyright Act has full liberty to enjoy the rights to sell or give his things on hire regardless of whether such sort of copy has been hired by somebody else or sold some time ago.  

The law in India and act was brought to safeguard the original work of the owner to encourage the work of their originality and to preserve their first handwork and to discourage the unlawful production by any other person. Without the consent and permission of the owner of the copyright the person trying to do any sort of illegal work will fear to do it.  Thus, to preserve the originality and creativity of the work this Act was brought.

The owner ( i.e author) of a  certain work is usually taken as the first owner of the copyright under the Copyright Act 1957. Nevertheless, for the works made in the progression of an owner’s employment under a “contract of service” or training, the boss is well-thought-out as the first owner of the copyright, if there is any sort of absence or any agreement to the contrary has been done earlier.

The Copyright Act 1957 relieves certain acts from the domain of copyright infringement. While many of the people have a tendency to use the term as reasonable that denotes the exceptions of the copyright law in India, which is totally and concretely the wrong usage of this term, the supreme country and most popular as dream country of many United States Of America and definitely some other specific countries trail the broad and reasonable use as well as the exception.

What Indian Law follows?

Indian law follows a completely diverse approach to copyright exceptions. The law in India follows a hybrid approach which permits:

  • Fair dealing with any sort of copyrighted work for definite and explicitly mentioned purposes and definite specific activities numbered in the statute.

Whereas the fair use method followed in the United States Of America can be applied for any sort of uses, the dealing method that uses the fair approach followed in India is undoubtedly restricted towards the determinations of the private as well as the personal use that includes certain level of research, and tutoring, disapproval or evaluation, reportage of the up-to-date events and full knowledge of the current affairs that also includes the reportage of a oration delivered in the community.

Despite the fact that the term fair dealing has not been properly defined anywhere in the Copyright Act 1957, the idea of ‘fair dealing’ has been debated in different judgments.

For example: “On September 2016, the Delhi High Court ruled that a copyshop at Delhi University which sold photocopies of chapters from academic textbooks was not infringing on their publisher’s copyright, arguing that the use of copyright to “stimulate activity and progress in the arts for the intellectual enrichment of the public” outweighed its use by the publishers to maintain commercial control of their property. However, in December 2016, the ruling was reversed and taken back to court, citing that there were “friable issues” in the case. (Source: Wikipedia)

The concept of the joint authorship is well documented in Section. 2(z) of the Copyright Act that provides “a work produced by the collaboration of two or more authors in which the contribution of one author is not distinct from the contribution of the other author or authors” is a work of joint authorship. This concept has been well clarified in cases like Najma Heptulla v. Orient Longman Ltd. and Ors. (Source: Wikipedia)

Section 19 of the Copyright Act 1957 also puts down the styles of the assignment of copyright law in India. For example, The assignment can only be in the form of writing and must stipulate the work, the period of the assignment and the terrain for which the respective assignment is made. If the period of the assignment is not indicated clearly in the agreement, it shall be considered to be 5 years and if the provincial extent of the assignment is not clearly indicated, it shall be acknowledged to be inadequate looking at the territories of India.

The owner of the copyright has two types of legal remedy to help them out. It is used in case of infringement of copyright law in India done by the other parties.

  • Civil Remedy
  • Criminal Remedy

In Civil remedy, the owner of the copyright may sue the person for its infringement by filing a suit for a permanent injunction. And in Criminal remedy, the owner can file a criminal complaint against the infringer. If compared both the remedies, the criminal remedy is more powerful.


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