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Historical works Historical facts are not copyrightable per se
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  • Copyright on Historical Books and Historical Facts

    Historical works Historical facts are not copyrightable per se. A book on history is designed to convey information to the readers. There is no copyright in this information as such. But the manner in which it is presented makes it an original literary work.

    Any person is free to read it and acquire from it such information as he could. A book of history may not only contain bare facts but also inferences drawn by the author's own efforts on the facts narrated and their relationship.

    A historical work is not to be judged by precisely the same standards as a work of fiction. The purpose of novel is usually to interest the reader and to contribute to his enjoyment of his leisure.

    Whereas historical work may properly be assumed by his readers to have another purpose as well, namely to add to the knowledge possessed by the reader and perhaps in the process to increase the sum total of human experience and understanding.

    The author of a historical work must have attributed to him an intention that the information thereby imparted may be used by the reader, because knowledge would become sterile if it could not be applied. Therefore, it is reasonable to suppose that the law of copyright will allow a wider use to be made of a historical work than of a novel so that knowledge can be built upon knowledge.

    New edition of Existing Historical Book

    New edition of an existing work is made by making additions, alterations and deletions. If the changes made are material which has made the new edition original when taken as a whole, it will be protected as a new work, whether changes made from a substantial part of the work or not If the existing edition is still under copyright protection and the alterations constitute original work there may be two copyrights subsisting in the new editions, one relating to the old and the other in the new alterations made.

    Copyright on Lecture

    A lecture includes address, speech and sermon. Delivery in relation to a lecture includes delivery by means of any mechanical instrument or by broadcast. Copyright will subsist in a lecture only if it is reduced to writing before it was delivered. A lecture delivered extempore which has not been reduced to writing can be protected only by an action for breach of confidence or by showing that the lecture was delivered under an express or implied contract that those admitted to listen to the lecture should not publish it.

    The Copyright (Amendment) Act 1994, s. 38

    Section 38, has conferred on performers certain special rights called 'Performer's Rights'.
    A person who delivers a lecture is a performer under s. 2(qq) and is therefore entitled to the performer's rights conferred under s. 38 of the Act.

    Copyright on Letters

    Copyright subsists in private letters, commercial letters, and Government letters as they are original literary works.

    The author of the letter is the owner of copyright in the case of private letters.

    In the case of commercial or Government letters written by employees in the course of employment the copyright in the letter belongs to the employer.

    Where a person sends a letter to a newspaper the newspaper gets an implied licence to publish it and also a right to edit or alter it so long as it does not affect the literary reputation of the writer.

    Letters addressed by one person to another are original literary works entitled to copyright.

    When a letter is sent by one person to another the latter becomes the owner of the letter but not that of the copyright therein which belongs to the writer. Thus the recipient of a letter has no right to reproduce the letter without the consent of the writer.

    When a letter is dictated to a stenographer or typist the copyright in the letter belongs to the person who has dictated the letter.

    Although a recipient of a letter is not entitled to publish the letter, when the letter casts aspersions on his reputation he may publish it to refute the allegations.

    The recipient may also communicate the information to others where they are not private or confidential.

    It may, therefore, be said that the law of copyright is not only the concern of authors and creative artists, but also that of the man in the street.

    # Copyright Protection on Reports of Judicial Proceedings such as Head Notes and Commentaries of an Act

    # Registration and filing of Copyrights in India:
    Copyright, is a bundle of rights, which grants protection to the unique expression of ideas. Ideas per se cannot be protected; it is the expression of ideas in a material medium that is the subject matter of copyright protection. Copyright is a negative right and the owner of a copyright gets the right to prevent others from copying his work without his consent towards a commercial end. However, at the same time it gives to the author an exclusive right for the commercial exploitation of his work

    # The Rights protected by Copyright Law: Copyright law seeks to promote human creativity and confers several rights on the copyright owner. International agreements, among which the most important is the Berne Convention, 1886

    # Copyright Law in India: Copyright is a form of intellectual property protection granted under Indian law to the creators of original works of authorship such as literary works (including computer programs, tables and compilations including computer databases which may be expressed in words, codes, schemes or in any other form, including a machine readable medium), dramatic, musical and artistic works, cinematographic films and sound recordings.

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