The term copyright is a combination of two words – copy
To be more accurate copyright simply means right to copy
, wherein only the
creator/owner or his authorized person has a right to reproduce the work.
Therefore in simple words, it is a legal right which is in possession to the
owner of Intellectual property is termed as copyright.
In the need to better understand the concept of copyright the elaboration of the
term must be taken into consideration. With the assist of a significant
intellectual or mental ability, when an individual creates a unique product then
such product is viewed to be original. The unique creations such as following
websites, computer software, musical lyrics, art, literature, novels, original
architectural design, films, poetry, graphic designs, musical compositions, etc.
Further, the copyright being a safeguard protects an original work from getting
pirated or duplicated.
When any such work is exclusively created by the independent intellect of a
creator or owner without any duplication of such work is called Original Work of
Authorship (OWA). Anyone who is the original creator of any invented work has
inherited right over it and can also prevent it from anyone else to use it or
copy it or replicate it for their use.
The creator can voluntarily register themselves for the copyright of the
invention if they wish too and want to have a secure end and further have an
upper hand in the legal system. By registration, the creator can further file a
suit against any individual or corporation for replicating his work.
Concept ideas such as discoveries, slogans, theories, brand names, logos,
concepts, domain name and tiles are all excluded from the purview of copyright
and falls under the category of trademarks and patents. The copyright needs to
be written down in a physical form for any speech, idea, discovery etc.
This concept provides the creators and the artist legal remedy to work
fearlessly and create original products, which are not subjected to replication
by any other person.
Evolution Of Concept Of Copyright In India
The evolution of copyright law in India can be traced back to the East India
Company’s regime in 1847. During that time, the work conducted was not don
automatically and the compulsory registration with the Home office was necessary
to enforce the copyright. Earlier term of copyright extended to the lifetime of
the owner in addition to the seven-years of post-mortem. In the year 1914 a new
copyright legislation was passed in the nation with few modifications which are
- In the case of infringement of copyright introduction of criminal
sanctions were added.
- It expanded the extent of the term copyright and modified it as a ‘sole
right’ wherein the owner was provided with the right to reproduce, change,
produce or publish a translation of work.
The legislation of 1914 continued till the arrival of new legislation in 1957
i.e. post-independence era.
In the year, 1957 a new Copyright law was enacted. Under the Act of 1957, the
Act of 1914 was prevalent, which also was an extension of the British Copyright
Act, 1911. Further in May 2012 the Parliament of India unanimously a bill was
passed in both the houses named as Copyright Amendment Bill, 2012. This Bill
focuses to bring Indian copyright laws at the international level and also
complied with the World Intellectual Property Organisation treaties such as the
WIPO Copyright Treaty (WCT) and the WIPO Performance and Programme Treaty (WPPT).
Hence, the main highlights of the 2012 Amendment bill are as mentioned:
- Amendments made in the right to artistic work such
as cinematographic films and sound recordings.
- Amendments made by WCT and WPPT.
- Amendments made in the mode of a grant of license and assignments.
- Protection against internet piracy.
Copyright In Different Fields
- Copyright in Literary work Literary works is protected by copyright law
as they are present in physical form. Literary works include anthologies,
novels, books, magazines, newspapers, journals computer software and
programmes, letters, e-mails, poetry, lyrics of songs, tables and
compilations. Literary works are not only limited to the above-mentioned
material but also an abstract, encyclopedia entries, dictionary meanings and
individual poems are also protected under copyright laws.
Duration of Copyright In a case of copyright-related to literary work both published as well as
unpublished the creator/author owns the protection under copyright which
extends to their lifetime in addition to 60 years after his demise.
Copyright in dramatics Dramatics includes dance, mime covering screenplays, ballets, operas etc.
Copyright in the field of dramatic protects the creators, composers,
choreographers, dramatists, poets, author and other from duplication of
The different types of published and unpublished work may be submitted for
registration under copyright law including pantomimes, treatments, plays,
choreography and scripts prepared for radio, cinema and television. It may
be with music or without music.
In usual, dramatic scripts are intended to be performed involving spoken
text, plot and direction of action etc. Therefore, it needs to be understood
that all the dramatic work can’t be registered for copyright.
A few dramatic
works are an exception to it as mentioned:
- Title or series of a programme.
- Copyright safeguards dramatic expressions of a creator but not the
general notion of work.
- Present work/script can only be given protection under copyright and not
the future scripts/ works.
To get the copyright of a dramatic work, a copy of:
- Printed copy
- Film recording
- Video recording
All these are treated as a physical script. The registration of these work gets
effected from the day from when all the above-mentioned material is submitted in
the Copyright Office in the prescribed format.
Copyright in Musical WorkMusical work as the term suggests a work which consists of music and for the
work to be musical it requires a mixture of graphical notations. However, it
excludes any actions or words which are required to be sung/ spoken with the
ComposerThe author of the musical work is called composer. A composer is a person who
composes the music irrespective of the fact that the music is recorded in any of
the suitable form of graphical notations or neither of them.
Duration of copyrightThe copyright protects the musical work which extends to the lifetime of the
author/owner in addition to the 60 years after the owner dies. Whatever, in case
of joint authorship the same duration is counted after the death of the last
Copyright in cinematographic filmsCinematographic films include many of activities as mentioned:
- Any work of visual recording displayed on any source from which any
moving object can be visualized.
- Work involving sound recordings.
Stages of protection of cinematography under copyright lawPre-production
Before any film is produced a large number of preparations is being done which
included casting and crewing, shoot schedule, location, rehearsals, scripting,
screenplay etc. and therefore it needs very stringent rules and a legal
regulation such that nothing can be duplicated.
Once the film is released it becomes the prime necessity to protect it from
Rights of the owner
- Reproduction right
- Distribution and rental rights
- Synchronization rights
- Derivative working rights
- Broadcasting rights
- Right of adaptation and translation
- Display rights
Another interesting fact in this topic is related to piracy which is called as ‘copyleft’.
The owner has the right to avoid it and sue the person who conducts the work of