The Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) has its own economic value when it puts
into any market place. IPR gives ownership rights to intellectual assets and are
intangible in nature. IPR gives exclusive rights to inventor or creator for
their valuable creation or invention. The main objective of IPR is to protect
the invention and to give reward for his/her creative endeavor. IPR encourages
and stimulate the creation of talented creators.
Intellectual Property is any innovation, unique name, symbol, logo or design used commercially. Copyright is one of the important types of Intellectual Property. The Copyright Act 1957 provides copyright protection in India and grant copyright protection in two forms as Economic rights of the author and Moral rights of the author. This article explains the classification of Intellectual Property, Copyrights and related rights, Copyright duration and few Copyright infringement cases.
In the world of globalization, it is utmost important to be ahead in innovations, technologies and trade. India is well known for its intellectual skills in various fields such as software engineering, satellite technology, Moon, Mars, Jupiter mission and other technological areas. However, India lags behind in filing the patents, industrial designs, trademarks and copyrights. This is very alarming situation for India, as development of any society is directly related to IPR and its policy frameworks.
The main reason behind this situation may be the lack of IPR awareness. Considering this situation, India has taken a major step in 1995 and became signatory to the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The TRIPS agreement regime has emerged as the basic framework for Intellectual Property Rights across the world. TRIPS agreement plays a significant role in resolving disputes over Intellectual Property. Every member of WTO has to include TRIPS provisions in their domestic Intellectual Property legislations.
As an impact of this movement, India has strengthened its participation in the international patent system in last fifteen years. India has filed 1583 international patent applications in 2018 with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and registered highest growth (27%) among countries in patent applications.
The term Intellectual Property gained momentum after the establishment of
World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1967 [1-4]. Further, WIPO
becomes one of the agencies of United Nation in 1974. The main objective of WIPO
is to develop a balanced and accessible international Intellectual Property
system and to regulate various policies concerned to IPR across the world.
According to WIPO, Intellectual Property (IP) refers to €˜creations of the mind, such as invention, literary and artistic work, designs, symbols, names and images'. IP is protected by law which enables people to receive recognition and get financial benefits from what they have invented or created.
In India, Intellectual Property is governed under the Patent Act 1970,
Trademarks Act 1999, Copyright Act 1957, Designs Act 2001 etc.
The law of Copyright was spread in India over three phases. The law was
introduced during the reign of British in 1911. The second phase of this law was
introduced in 1914. It was similar to the British Copyright Act 1911. The major
change in this act was the criminal sanction for infringement. Then this law was
constantly amended and third phase of this law was introduced by independent
Indian in 1957 which has the provisions of Berne Convention. India is following
this Copyright Act 1957 till date.
As per the Indian Copyright Act 1957 , copyright is valid only within the borders of India. To secure the protection in foreign countries, India has become a member of the international conventions on copyrights and signs agreement with Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic works, Universal Copyright Convention, Multilateral Convention for the Avoidance of double Taxation of Copyright Royalties and TRIPs. India evolves many changes in the Intellectual Property regime since 1995.
After completion of good quality work, automatically one can get its copyright.
Hence it is not mandatory to register copyright. However, registration of
copyright provides many benefits to the creator. Copyright can give evidence and
prove that copyright exist and creator is genuine owner of it [17-18].
Owner of Copyright can have right of reproduction of his
work. No other person except the author shall make copies of the work or part of
the work in any form without the permission of the copyright owner.
Communication to the public means making any work
available to public is the copyright of the author. Any work for example a film
cannot be made available to public without permission of the author if it is
registered under copyright act.
Adaption or changes or alterations is the preparation of new
work in different manner based on exiting work. The Copyright Act defines right
of adaption to conversion of a dramatic work into a non-dramatic work, to the
conversion of literary or artistic work into a dramatic work, to the
rearrangement of a literary or dramatic work, transcription of a musical work or
any act involving rearrangement or alteration of an existing work. According to
this right, only idea is taken and then changes were made according to the
requirements. For example, films were produced based on Five point someone or
Half girlfriend written by Chetan Bhagat. Here, idea from the book is taken and
not the whole expression is copied.
The owner has full right to translate his work into other language. Any other
person doing it without the permission of owner is the infringement of the
right. The person who is interested in translating the copyrighted work should
get permission of the owner before translation.
Moral rights are assigned only the individual authors and in many countries they
are related to economic rights. Moral rights covered the right to claim
authorship of a work
and the right to object to any distortion or modification of a work. The moral
rights remain with him even after assignment of the copyright.
copyright to dramatic or artistic work
means exclusive rights to reproduce the work, to communicate the work to the
public or perform the work in public, to issue copies of the work to the public,
to include the work in any cinematograph film, to make any adaption of the work.
copyright to musical work means the exclusive rights to
reproduce the work, issues copies to the public, to include the work in any
cinematograph film or sound recording in respect of the work, to make any adaption and translation of the work.
copyright of sound recording means to make any other
sound recording embodying it, to sell or give on hire for sale any copy of the
sound recording, to communicate the sound recording to public.
copyright for computer programmes comes under
literary work and all literary rights are applicable to it. Owner of the
copyright in a computer programmes has the rights to sell or give or hire the
work. Without permission of the owner, making copies of the software is a
Copyrights automatically come into existence as soon as the work is created.
However, if the work is registered then it gives economic benefits to the owner.
Registration of copyrights is done in the Copyright Office of the Department of
Education situated at Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi. The entries made in the
Register of Copyrights serve as prima-face evidence in the court of law.
Each and every column of the Statement of Particulars should be replied in
future. The copy of manuscript has to be sent along with the application.
Copyright registration fees ranges from Rs. 400 to Rs. 600 for each work.
Copyrights of works of the countries mentioned in the International Copyright
Order are protected in India.
Copyrights of the countries who are the members of the Berne Convention for the protection of Literary and Artistic works, Universal Copyright Convention and TRIPS agreement are protected in India. Copyright provided by the Indian Copyright Act is valid only within the borders of the country.
To secure protection to Indian works in foreign countries, India has become a member of Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic works, Universal Copyright Convention, Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms, Multilateral Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation of Copyright Royalties and Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) Agreement.
According to the general rule, the duration of Copyright is 60 years. In the
case of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the 60-year
period is counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case
of cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications,
anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of
international organisations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of
It should be noted that Copyright does not protect novelty but only originality.
Copyright protects only the expression and not the idea. So, if it is the only
method of expressing the work, it cannot be protected. The Copyright
infringement means taking financial benefits of copyrighted work without
permission of the owner.
The key factors for initiating any infringement case is to prove ownership of Copyright or to prove infringer has copied the copyrighted work. Once the owner proved that the work has been already copyrighted under the act then minimum punishment for infringement is imprisonment for 6 months with minimum fine of Rs. 50,000. If the person proves that it was done innocently or even accidently then he may be held liable under the Copyright Act. The guilty intention of the offender can be considered for determining the quantum of damages to be awarded for the alleged infringement.
Recent Cases of Infringements
Facts: The appellant, Sajeev Pillai, a film director and a script writer claimed
to have researched the history of the grand festival Mamankam and prepared a
script for a movie based on the same epic. He met VenuKunnapalli and signed a
MoU with Kavya Film Company which was associated with Kunnapalli. Sajeev was
initially appointed as the director but then his service was terminated and was
replaced by someone else. The shooting of the movie was thereafter completed
which Sajeev alleged was done by mutilating, distorting and modifying his
script. Sajeev in light of that filed a suit seeking various reliefs. An interim
injunction application was also filed to restrain the respondents from
releasing, publishing, distributing and exploiting the film and issuing
pre-release publicity without providing adequate authorship credits to Pillai as
per film industry standards.
Judgement: In deciding the issue, the court noted that the first sub-section of Section 57(1) provides the author to restrain third parties and the second sub-section provides the author the entitlement to claim damages by such third party in respect of any distortion, mutilation or other modifications to his work or any other action, in relation thereto which would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation. This provided the appellant an unparalleled advantage in the case and that his assignment of the work would not exhaust the legal right to claim authorship over it.
Facts: Tips Industries Ltd (Plaintiff) is an Indian music label that exercises
copyright over a significant music repository that, in 2016, granted Wynk Music
Ltd (Defendant) license to access this music repository. At the expiry of the
said license both the parties attempted to renegotiate the licensing conditions
but failed to do so and hence Wynk took refuge by invoking Section 31D of the
Copyright Act. Tips challenged Wynk's invocation of Section 31D, and prosecuted
Wynk pursuant to Section 14(1)(e) for breach of their exclusive rights of sound
Judgement: After hearing the contentions of both the parties the Bombay High Court came to a conclusion finding Wynk to be guilty of direct infringement on two counts €“ 1. To offer the copyrighted work under section 14(1) (e) (ii) which allowed the users to download and listen to the plaintiff's work offline and 2. Under section 14(1) (e) (iii) for communicating the plaintiff's works to the users via their streaming service.
In developing country like India, Intellectual Property Rights are very much important and plays a vital role in societal development. To progress and compete with the developed countries, more number of patents, copyrights, trademarks, GIs should be files or registered internationally. So, it is very essential to spread awareness of IPR amongst the people. IPR can be included in the education system and registration of IPR can be promoted by encouraging innovators or creators.
Copyright is an important element of IPR. Writers, musicians, artists should be encouraged to register their art. According to the Copyright Act 1957, the Copyright registration process in India is very easy at the reasonable fees.
Owner of copyrighted material can grant a license and transfers some of the rights to other person for the financial benefits. However, there are some issues with non-profits organizations related to Copyright Act which will be discussed in future articles.
Written By: Dr. Jayashri Bangali - Kaveri College of Arts, Science and Commerce, Pune
File For Copyright Registration in India
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