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Berne Convention And Position Of India At A Glance

The Berne convention is one of the most important and one of the oldest conventions on the protection of copyright. It is a multilateral copyright treaty which was first negotiated in the year 1886 and later revised in the year 1971. It aims to provide protection of copyright works in different nation/s, which Was not earlier protected by the national laws of the country in which the artistic and literary work was first created.

The paramount objective of the convention was to provide national treatment to various works and rights of the authors. Pre dominantly it focused on protection of the moral and economic rights of thew authors. The convention provided for fair and equivalent treatment of the foreign authors with domestic author, in any country which was the signatory of Berne convention. The convention voluminously speaks about National Treatment.

Under the Berne convention the author of the creative work does not have to necessarily register for the copyright in the signatory countries. The author is automatically entitled to the copyright on his artistic work is expressed in some physical form. The copyright comes into existence with the existence of the literary artistic work. The work of the author however shall not be imaginary.

The author holds entitlement, not only to copyright but also to its derivatives rights such as right to publish, broadcast, translate, etc. the author remains entitled to copyright unless he declaims it or unless the term of copyright expires. The minimum term of protection of copyright is the life of author, and 50 years after his death.

The primary advantage that Berne convention brings to the signatory country is that it protects the rights of its author in other signatories' countries, thereby helping the authors in securing the protection of the economic and moral rights and in reaping financial benefits for their work.

The Berne convention was provided globalized effect through getting incorporated into the World trade organization's TRIPS agreement in the year 1995.

India is the member of berne convention of 1886, the universal copyright convention of 1951, and agreement of trade related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPs),1995. India also has a membership of WIPO convention, since 1975. Thus, the Indian copyright owner can protect their copyright in almost any country in the world.

The Indian copyright act 1957, is based on berne convention. the section 14 of the act confers various rights upon the owner.

These rights are generally economic rights exercised by the author to bring economic benefits. The rights are:

  • Publication and reproduction rights
  • Translation rights
  • Right to make adaptation
  • Rental rights
The section 57 of the act provides for the moral rights of the author.

There are three kinds of moral rights:

Moral Rights

  • Right of paternity
  • Right of integrity / purity
  • Right to retraction
The concept of copyright comes along with the other Neighboring and related rights. This concept emerged due to the technological advancement, it was recognized internationally by the Rome convention in the year 1961. The copyright (Amendment) act, 1994 provides for the protection of following related rights:

Related Rights

  • Rights of broadcasting organization (section 37)
  • Performers rights (section 38)
The section 39 of the act provides exceptions to the abovementioned sections 38 and 39. The following acts will not amount to infringement:


  • If utilized for private use
  • If utilized for teaching work or research
  • If it is consistent with fair dealing
  • Production for use of judicial proceedings

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