This paper deals with the in-depth idea of intellectual property rights (IPR),
how the laws in India govern around these rights, types of intellectual rights
which include copyright, patent, trademark etc. The approach of this paper is
restricted to India and its governing laws related to IPR. It also mentions
about the history of these rights, evolution and their necessity in today's
The role of IPR is expanding day by day in our lives in diverse
fields as in literary arts, dance, music, sports, fashion, entertainment
industries etc. IPR provides the original owners of their work certain
protection backed by law where they can protect illegal use of their work or
profit earned by someone else through their work.
The research focus of this
paper revolves around IPR and entertainment industries, how movies,
advertisements, artistic works, sound films and various other creations could be
prevented from being imitated or borrowed by others, what are the various legal
provisions that are available for the protection of certain rights related to
IPR. The paper ends with a short conclusion summarizing the idea and intention
behind this subject-matter chosen for this paper.
According to World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO)- "Intellectual
Property � refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions, literary and
artistic works, designs and symbols, names and images". Intellectual rights
also referred to as the creation of human minds or the work that has been
produced through the intellectual knowledge of the people which may include any
literary piece of art, poetry, symbols, design, music, script, advertisement and
various other creations.
These are termed as tangible properties of the people.
World Trade Organization (WTO) defines IP rights as follows- "Intellectual
property rights are the rights given to persons over the creations of their
minds. They usually give the creator an exclusive right over the use of his/her
creation for a certain period of time".
These rights are being protected and the ownership lies with the original
inventor of that creation and no other person than the owner of that creation or
invention can benefit from the profits of their work unless permitted by the
There are various types of IP rights which majorly include:
Patents It provides an exclusive and the legal right to the owner t to disallow other people from selling or unauthorized use of the work created by the primary or the first originator of that work. Patents protect the innovations and ideas of the primary or the very first owner of the work or their creation for a specific period of time. The owner could benefit from his innovation by handling his work or granting the license of his/her innovation to other person.
Copyright It is one of the intellectual right given to the people where they have the authority to publish, perform or print their own artistic, literary or any other sought of innovations created by them and earn profits through their work, these rights protect only the expressed form of ideas.
Trademarks It gives recognition to a certain symbol, design, logo or any other form of visible expression which distinguishes that particular design or symbol from other designs or logos. Trademark can be granted to an individual, company, business organization, non-government organizations or any other legal entity.
History and evolution of IP laws:
After independence, the government of India felt necessary to initiate laws that
protect and govern the new technologies and innovations produced by the people
of India and to license the work and put restrictions on the unauthorized use of
the innovations without the use of its original owner. The very first
legislation that arrived was "The Copyright Act of 1957" which has already
been amended six times till now.
The act clearly mentions that no other person without the permission of the
owner who has a license of the copyright could publish or perform any literary
piece of art, innovation, design or any other creation. The other major
legislation that was enacted in 1970 was the "Patents Act of 1970" which
granted to right to obtain patent by adhering to the guidelines mentioned in the
The act under section 3 also mentions the list of inventions or
creations that cannot be granted with a patent. There are various other laws
related to the intellectual rights of the people but the major idea behind all
the IP laws is to promote the intellectual creations of the people and to
provide them with a platform where they can develop and yield benefits from
their own innovations or ideas.
There are various fields where IP laws are playing great role in protecting and
preserving the ideas of the people whether its fashion designing, industrial
development, advertisements, sports industry and many more. In recent years, IP
in film industry has been growing immensely, protecting and granting legal
rights to the producers, filmmakers, composers from script to screen. It
preserves the creations of the film-makers and safeguard their rights by not
letting anyone else take the credits or the monetary benefits from the owners
Role of IPR in film industries:
India has one of the largest film and entertainment industry , people in India
are film enthusiasts and love watching films. As it is said cinema is
representation of the society we live in and also it never fails to spice it up
with some fantasies which provide a perfect escape for people. What is so unique
about the Indian industry is how smoothly the music is incorporated in our films
which also quite helps in marketing of the film and we get to enjoy new bangers
frequently but what scares the producers or the film-makers is the borrowing or
intimation of their content or their songs, script etc.
Here comes IP Laws which
protect the content or any other related creation of a movie from being used by
other creators or makers. IP Laws provide a great platform for the cinema
industries to make their innovations restricted and not being copied by any
other sources. These rights protect every basic aspect which is essential during
the making of a film whether its about the script, dialogues, songs etc.
Copyright and trademarks are majorly used IP rights in entertainment industries
but there are exceptions where copyright cannot be granted. For example, in the
naming of the film as we can see many movies having the similar names like
Dostana ( 1980 & 2010), Hera Pheri (1976 & 2000) and many more.
These titles are
not considered under the copyright act as they have the minimum authorship for
their creation as copyright is only granted when you have put in lot of efforts
for your creation or innovation. Another IP right that is most protected in film
industries is the screenplay which is the most easiest way for intimating and
using without the license granted by the original owner.
Through copyright, film-makers can avail the exclusive rights and the authority
over their work. Music and lyrics are another very basic and important element
during the making of the movie. The very famous case of Javed Akhtar vs
Producer's Guild Caseallowed the lyricists and the musicians to claim copyright
for their work rather than granting their copyright to the film-makers.
Another landmark judgement was of "R.G Anand vs M/S. Delux Films & Ors". In this
case, the plaintiff accused the defendant of copyright infringement for his
innovation of the play "Hum Hindustani in 1973".
He claimed that the movie " New Delhi" is complete copy of his play. This was a
landmark judgement of Supreme Court where supreme laid down the guidelines of
the copyright act in which it clearly mentioned that a person can claim
copyright infringement only for their expressed creations and not just for their
ideas which are not performed or published.
Another famous case was "Sanjay Kumar Gupta v. Sony Picture Networks India Pvt.
Ltd.- In this case, the appellant claimed copyright infringement against Sony
Network for their popular game show KBC as the appellant had a similar show
called 'Jeeto Unlimited' where people received gifts by answering the questions
through a quiz but the verdict came in the favour of the respondent as the court
mentioned that engaging the audience is constant phenomenon and answering
questions on screen is completely different from the appellants claim.
For employing songs written by other lyricists or musicians in their films,
filmmakers must pay royalties. The music composer and the director,
respectively, must pay royalties to the original creator in the case of a
"remixed song" or a "movie remake"; otherwise there is of them being held liable
for copyright infringement.
For instance, Bollywood movie Bala's producers were
charged with copyright infringement in October 2019 by soundtrack composer Dr
Zeus. The British musician accused Bala's creators of stealing his work and
alleged that his popular song Don't Be Shy was replicated in the movie without
his consent. Later, the Bala film's creators claimed in an official announcement
that they had successfully acquired the copyrights from "Karman Entertainment".
Creative brains have traditionally been greatly protected by intellectual
property regulations, particularly copyright and trademark laws. The primary
purpose of copyright legislation is to safeguard authors' creative creations
against exploitation or unauthorised usage for profit.
On the other hand, any
signs, products, or services are protected by trademark law. In the media and
entertainment industry, intellectual property is of utmost importance since it
provides the required protection, prohibiting the misuse of their work and
accelerating corporate growth. Intellectual property is more important in the digitised age.
Copyright piracy problems are on the rise as more and more content is shared
online. After it has been developed, an author's or artist's creation needs to
be protected to prevent misuse by others. At this point, intellectual property
law enters the picture, fulfilling the function it has always served to the best
of its ability. It has occasionally been updated to address problems that arise
with respect to creator rights in the modern period.