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Copyright And Subject Matter Of Copyright

The Copyright Act 1957 governs the law pertaining to copyright in India. The major goals of this copyright law are twofold: first, to guarantee authors, musicians, painters, designers, and other creative individuals the right to their creative interpretation; and second, to enable others to openly develop upon the concepts and knowledge made available by a work. India's history with copyright laws dates back to the British Empire's colonial rule.

A law called the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, was passed; it went into effect in January 1958 and has since undergone five revisions, in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, and 1999. The Copyright Act of 1957 was India's first copyright law following independence, and six amendments have been made since then. The Copyright amendment act 2012, which was passed in 2012, was the most recent amendment. The concept of copyright in India is governed by the Indian Copyright Act, 1957, as modified from time to time, and the Indian Copyright Rules.

What Is Copyright?

Copyright is a type of intellectual property right. Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematograph films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bundle of rights including, inter alia, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the composition of the rights depending on the work.

The Copyright Act, 1957 completely replicates the Berne Convention for Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, 1886 and the Universal Copyrights Convention after the amendments in 1999, 2002 and 2012 and India is a party to both the conventions. India has signed the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Rights of Producers of Phonograms and is an active member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

The term "copyright" refers to a collection of exclusive rights that Section 14 of the Act grants to the owner of the copyright. Only the copyright owner or another person who has permission to do so from the copyright owner may exercise these rights. These rights include the ability to adapt, reproduce, publish, translate, and communicate with the public, among other things. Copyright registration just establishes an entry for the work in the Copyright Register kept by the Registrar of Copyrights and does not grant any rights.

Why Should Copyright Be Protected?
Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity being the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. Economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity. The protection provided by copyright to the efforts of writers, artists, designers, dramatists, musicians, architects and producers of sound recordings, cinematograph films and computer software, creates an atmosphere conducive to creativity, which induces them to create more and motivates others to create.

Objectives Of Copyright Law
Copyright is primarily intended to advance science and useful art and to compensate authors for their labour. In order to do this, copyright guarantees authors the right to their creative expression while allowing others to openly expand upon the concepts and knowledge presented in a work. The primary goals of copyright law are twofold. First and foremost, copyright laws were created by nations to guarantee the original expression of writers, songwriters, designers, artists, and other creatives, as well as film and sound recording producers, who risked their money to present their works to the public.

Second, a work's knowledge and suggestions can be freely expanded upon by others, thanks to copyright legislation. Additionally, it permits some unrestricted uses of copyrighted content. The Copyright Act of 1957 outlines the range of these permissible uses. To establish harmony between the rights of the copyright owner and the welfare of people to the greatest possible degree in the interest of society, measures relating to free use are included in the Act.

The Madras High Court held that "copyright law is to preserve the fruits of a man's effort, labour, talent, or test from annexation by other persons" in Sulamangalam R. Jayalakshmi v. Meta Musicals, Chennai (2000).

Eastern Book company v/s Navin J. desai
The question involved was whether there is any copyright in the reporting of the judgment of a court. The Delhi High court held that it is not denied that under section 2(k) of the Copyright Act, a work which is made or published under the direction or control of any Court, tribunal or other judicial authority in India is a Government work.

Under section 52(q), the reproduction or publication of any judgment or order of a court, tribunal or other judicial authority shall not constitute infringement of copyright of the government in these works. It is thus clear that it is open to everybody to reproduce and publish the government work including the judgment/ order of a court.

However, in case, a person by extensive reading, careful study and comparison and with the exercise of taste and judgment has made certain comments about judgment or has written a commentary thereon, may be such a comment and commentary is entitled to protection under the Copyright Act. The court further observed: In terms of section 52(1)(q) of the Act, reproduction of a judgment of the court is an exception to the infringement of the Copyright.

The orders and judgments of the court are in the public domain and anyone can publish them. Not only that being a Government work, no-copyright exists in these orders and judgments. No one can claim copyright in these judgments and orders of the court merely on the ground that he had first published them in his book. Changes consisting of elimination, changes of spelling, elimination or addition of quotations and corrections of typographical mistakes are trivial and hence no copyright exists therein.

Historical Background
The concept of copyright was first introduced with the passing of the Statute of Anne in April 1710, which provides the protection of 14 years for works published after commencement of the act. Further, various judicial pronouncements developed the concept of copyright in Britain.

And later, British System adopted the Copyright Act of United States of America in 1790. It was provided for the protection of books, maps, and charts for a period of 11 years from the first publication, which could be renewed for a further term if the author was still alive.

And The English copyright act of 1842, (a new era in the regime of copyright law in England) expanded the scope and nature of copyright. In 1884, an International Copyright Act was empower her Majesty to provide protection to the authors of books and works of giving foreign jurisdiction.

In India, the copyright law was introduced by the East India company regime in 1847 through an enactment. According to the 1847 enactment, Copyright is a term which can be used for lifetime and even after the death of the author under some exception.

In this Act, it was provided that under a contract of service copyright in any encyclopedia, review, magazine, periodical work or work published in a series of books or parts shall vest in the proprietor, projector, publisher or conductor.

Infringing copies were deemed to be copies of the proprietor of copyrighted work. Importantly, unlike today, copyright in a work was not automatic. Registration of copyright was mandatory for the enforcement of rights under the Act. However, the Act also specifically reserved the subsistence of copyright in the author, and his right to sue for its infringement to the extent. In 1914, the Indian legislature enacted a new Copyright Act which extended most portions of the United Kingdom Copyright Act of 1911 to India. It did makes minor changes in the act.

Firstly, it introduced criminal sanctions for copyright infringement (sections 7 to 12).

Secondly, it changes the scope of copyright; under section 4 the sole right of the author to produce, reproduce, perform or publish a translation of the work shall subsist only for a period of ten years from the date of the first publication of the work.

The author, however, retained her sole rights if within the period of ten years she published or authorized publication of her work a translation in any language in respect of that language.

Subject Matter Of Protection

Chapter one mainly portray the subject matter of protection of copyright because the copyright has become an international nature due to the advancement of the technology and anyone can violate the rights of others from any part of the world. As per the different subsections of section 2 of the copyright act, 1957 and judicial interpretation from time to time many matters are eligible to get the protection.

On analyzing all the classification and categorizations of the works as provided under different sub-section of section 2 of the copyright act 1957 and taking reference from the judicial views of the different high courts and the supreme court of India, the following copyrighted heads in the subsection 2 and related works will enjoy the copyright protection under the current updated amended legislation.

Subject matter of copyright
All subject matters protected by copyright are called 'works'. Thus according to Section 13 of The Copyright Act 1957, it may be subjected for the following works:
  • Original Literary Work,
  • Original Dramatic work,
  • Original Musical work,
  • Original Artistic Work,
  • Cinematography films, and
  • Sound recordings

Original Literary Work

Literary work refers to works that are in writing. The Act does not classify literary work, but we understand that as work that are captured in writing. The act says that literary work includes computer programmes, tables, and compilations including computer databases. The literary work need not have any literary merit and it is not the job of the courts to look into the literary merit of copyright work.

So, courts have found that football fixture lists, mathematical tables, tombola tickets, etc. are capable of copyright protection. The number of words in a copyrighted material is not an indicator of quality and the author of copyrighted work is the author who makes the work or who creates the work.

There are certain things that cannot be protected under a copyright. For instance, phrases, names, invented words and slogans cannot form a part of copyright protections. The names especially used in commerce or in trade are protected by trademarks and invented work and slogans, for example the slogan which Pepsi used a while ago "Yeh Dil Mange more", which is an advertising slogan was held something that can not protected under the copyright Act.

Original Dramatic Work

According to the Copyright Act 1957, the dramatic work includes any piece for recitation, choreographic work or entertainment in dumb shows, the scenic arrangement or acting form which is fixed in writing or otherwise but does not include a cinematographic film. Since the definition is an inclusive one, the other things fall within the general meaning of dramatic work, and may also be covered by the definition.

Original Artistic Work

An artistic work as mentioned in the Act, a painting, a sculpture, a drawing includes a diagram, map, chart or plan, an engraving or a photograph, and whether or not any such work possesses artistic quality. A work of architecture is included as an artistic work and any work of artistic craftsmanship can also come under the ambit of an artistic work.

The author of an artistic work is the artist of the artistic work other than photograph. The photograph is a person who takes the photograph, who is regarded as the author. Recently there was an issue with regard to a selfie taken by a monkey. The Court has held that, the person has to be a human being and so far intellectual property rights have only covered Intellectual work of humans.

Sound Recording

"Sound recording" means a recording of sounds from which sounds may be produced regardless of the medium on which such recording is made or the method by which the sounds are produced. A phonogram and a CD-ROM are sound recordings.

The term of copyright varies depending on the kind of work that is protected. Literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works are protected for the life of the author and after the death for a period of 60 years. For posthumous work published after the death of the author. It is 60 years from the time the work is first published. Therefore, cinematograph films sound recording, government works, works of international organizations all are prospected for 60 years from the work first published.

Here the ownership in copyright may vest in different persons under different circumstances. Like of a work is created by an employee in the course of his or her employment, the employer owns the copyright. If the work is created by an independent contractor and the independent contractor signs a written agreement stating that the work shall be "made for hire,"

The commission person or organization owns the copyright only if the work is a part of the larger literary work, such as an article in a magazine or a poem or story in anthology; part of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, such as screenplay, a translation, a supplementary work, such as an afterword, an introduction, chart, editorial note, bibliography, appendix or index; a compilation; an instructional text; a test or answer material for a test; or an atlas.

Works that do not fall within one of these eight classifications constitute works made for hire only if created by an employee within the scope of his or her employment. If the creator has sold the entire copyright, the purchasing business or person becomes the copyright owner.

Cinematographic Films

According to the Copyright Act,1957 cinematographic films includes any work of visual recording and a sound recording accompanying such visual recording and the expression cinematograph shall be construed as including any work produced by any process analogous to cinematographic including video films.

The copyright law is considered as an essential law of protection for a country because it enriches its national cultural heritage of it. However, higher the level of protection given to literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work in any country, automatically higher is the number of intelligent creation, i.e. higher its renown.

Thus, in the final analysis, we can say for economic, cultural and social development, it is the basic perquisites. Intellectual Property Rights have been present for a very long time. These are the rights that are given to people for their creative work. These rights are in the form of patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

They form the intellectual property laws to protect these rights of the people over their creativity. Even though the intellectual property laws have developed over time, the intent of the laws remains the same i.e., that the laws encourage the creativity shown by people and for them to reap benefits from their ideas. The society is never static; it keeps on changing with change in time. The globalization of the society has led to the advancement in technology.

With the advancement in technology, the copyright infringement has become more easy now-a-days. Therefore, the legislative amendments made in copyright Act all these years' help in protecting the authors from any copyright infringement. The higher level of protection is given to literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work in any country.

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