Copyright is a legal device that provides the creator of a work of art or
literature, or a work that conveys information or ideas, the right to control
how the work is used
Every human possesses a distinct intellect that discovers novel ideas or works.
These novel ideas must be protected so that no other person presents it as his
own. Henceforth, these are been protected under intellectual property rights
which undertakes numerous subject matters e.g., literary work, artistic work,
symbols, images, names, etc. One must be having a thought that why they are
being protected under Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and what is the main
motive of it?
The answer to this question is that these are protected under IPR to stimulate
the progress of every field like science, arts, literature, etc. Thereupon the
states have agreed for the statutory establishment for all the subject matters
of IPR and these are Copyright, Trademark, Geographical Indication, Industrial
Designs, Trade Secret, and Plant Variety.
Copyright plays an essential role in the development process of a country. In
which the various subject matter like artistic work, dramatic, literary,
cinematographic work, etc contains the most important role play. The author or
the composer of various subject matter enjoys certain rights after being
recognized as a unique or new work.
To secure the copyright of the Author, the statute has laid various provisions
and has given the bundle of rights to the author under section 14 of the
Copyright Act which are also known as exclusive rights. These rights do not
authorize the author to exploit his work, making copies and hence known as
negative rights also.
The bundle of right encompasses three different kinds of rights further includes
different subheads which are mentioned below:
- The Economic Rights
- Right of Reproduction
- Right of Distribution
- Right of Adaptation
- Right of Broadcasting
- Rental Right
- Right of Public Performance
- The Moral Rights
- Paternity Right
- Integrity Right
- The Neighbouring Rights
This article mainly focuses on enlightening the reader in the area of the
economic rights guaranteed to the Author.
The rights are been classified on the different parameters in which the most
important is the economic parameters. The economic rights help the author to
derive the economic benefit which enables the author to transfer these rights to
the purchaser because of which nowadays the producer can produce a movie, songs,
etc, and the author labour or skills is been paid to them for waiving their
rights. So thus, this forms a contractual relationship between the author who
creates it and the producer or the manufacturer who produces it. The economic
rights are categorized into various rights which enable the commercialization of
the work of the author.
Right of Reproduction:The right of reproduction is considered as the most fundamental, prominent, and
important right under the copyright act as it permits the author to reproduce
the work and store it any form or any medium by electronic means e.g. CD,
Recorder, Computer, etc. This right was recognized by the Berne Convention on
the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, 1886, by the Universal Copyright
Convention, 1952, and also by the Indian law on copyright contained in the
Copyright Act, 1957.
This right covers all types of work like 1iterary,
dramatic, musical, and artistic, cinematograph film, and sound recording. One
must note that no one apart from the author has the right to reproduce or to
make copies of his work and if the other person reproduces it then before
copying the work for commercial purpose author's permission must be taken.
Reproduction is a branch of copying where even a substantial amount of work or
producing the work in different forms amounts to reproduction. This view was
first established by the House of Lords in the case of Ladbroke Ltd v William
Right of Distribution:The right of distribution amounts to distribute rent, and sale the copyrighted
work to the public. This right of distribution is expressly mentioned under the
Copyright Act 1957. This right is performed after the right of reproduction.
This right is based on the principle of exhaustion which has been mentioned
under Article 6 of the TRIPS agreement. By the principle of exhaustion, it is
meant that this exhaust only after its first implication commonly termed as
First Sale Doctrine i.e., this right of an author comes to an end his work has
approached the market, as after this anyone can produce numbers of copies of the
work. So the scope or the extent of this right is not constant.
The principle of exhaustion has been distinguished into three categories which
are as follows:
- National Exhaustion:
When the author loses the copyrighted rights of his
work in a particular nation then it is termed as National Exhaustion.
- Regional Exhaustion:
When the author loses the copyrighted rights of his
work in a specific region then it is termed as Regional Exhaustion.
- International Exhaustion:
When the author loses the copyrighted rights
of his work all over or anywhere in the world then it is termed as
This right of distribution needs a permit from the copyright owner before
distribution to the market. It was also held by the case Penguin Books Limited v
India Book Distributors and others, that if the distributor has not taken the
license from the copyright owner and distributes it to the public for commercial
use will amount to infringement.
Right of Adaptation:Right of Adaptation is one of the most used rights under the copyright act. This
right includes every subject matter that are covered under the copyright act
like literary work, sound recording, artistic work, etc. The right of adaptation
is an exclusive right which is granted to the copyright owner for making the
adaptation of work. To avail the concept of adaption, one must take permission
from the author otherwise it will amount infringement of the author's right this
was also held by the case Blackwood & Sons Ltd. v. Parsuraman.
Adaptation has been defined under section 2(a) of the Copyright Act, 1957,
which means to convert the form of the original work and to present it as new
For example: Conversion of a story to drama, conversion of drama to a
non-dramatic work, presenting an abridged version of any of the literary or
dramatic work, etc.
The concept of Abridgement has been defined under Section 2 (a) (iii). Further
in the case of Macmillan and Company Limited v K. &J. Cooper & Raghunathan v.
All India Reporter, it was defined as shortening or condensing the literary
work or reproducing it in a much precise and crisp way.
Right of Broadcasting:Broadcasting refers to the term broadcast defined under Section 31D of
Copyright Act, 1957. It is explained as getting access to the public through any
means of wireless broadcasting, whether in one or more types of signs, sounds,
or visual images; or by wire and transmission of data through various wireless
networks. A person, who is the owner of his work, has the right to broadcast his
work. In Modern Context, it extends as making the work available to the public
using the Internet and its terms and conditions hold the decision of Copyright
Holder. From this, it has been seen that Broadcasting Right includes the right
to communicate the work.
In the case of Garware Plastic and Polyester Ltd., for Bombay v. M / S Telelink,
Bombay High Court felt a need to address the word 'public' as opposed to private
communication to answer this issue, which ultimately depends on the individuals
receiving the communication. The Court held that the film showed which intended
for the public, because of the Cable Television Network. Therefore, Cable
Television Network viewers amounted to a Copyright violation.
Rental Right:It is referred to, as the right to rent copies of such types of works, such as
sound recording songs, audiovisual works, and computer programs. This became
important to avoid infringement of the copyright owner's right to reproduction
as technical innovations made copying such works simple for rental shop
customers. It is increasingly recognized and included in the WIPO Copyright
Treaty. Besides the right to issue copies of the program to the public which are
not already included in circulation, Section 14(b) (ii) talks about the
proprietors of computer programs have the right to offer or give any copy of the
corresponding rental or offer for sale or any commercial rental where a computer
program is the basic object of the rental so long as the program is itself.
In Indian Context, the existence of the commercial Rental Right in the Copyright
Act first made its appearancethrough1994 amendments under which the term used
for computer programs, films, and sound recordings was similar with only the
title of the working class being different in each provision: the 1994 amendment
stated that the copyright owner would have the exclusive right to sell or give
on hire, or offer for sale or hire, any copy of the film, regardless of whether
such copy has been sold or given on hire on earlier occasions".
Declaration of Objects and Reasons annexed to Amendment Bill of 1992 (1992 No.
105) says, in para. 16, that the provisions were included 'to promote the flow
of remuneration to copyright owners who (notably in the case of cinematographic
films) can be helped by effective collective management by copyright societies,
these rights would also include additional protection against the distribution
of infringing copies.
- Producers of Sound Recordings:
The producers of Sound Recordings have the right to permit or forbid the
production sale and distribution of their sound recordings and copies thereof,
and the right to equitable remuneration for their sound recordings being
transmitted and distributed to the public accordingly.
Right of Public Performance:The Indian copyright law acknowledges the public performance right in respect of
literary, dramatic, or musical works. Section 2(q) of the Copyright Act, 1957
describes the term 'performance' concerning the right of the performer to mean
any visual or acoustic performance extracted live by one or more performers
(Amendment Act, 1994). A performer within the scope of Section 2 (qq) of the
Copyright Act is an actress, singer, guitarist, dancer, acrobat, juggler,
conjurer, snake charmer, lecturer, or any other person making a show.
the Copyright (Amendment) Act has added a proviso to clause (qq) of Section 2,
which explained-'in cinematographic film, a Person whose work is casual or
incidental in nature and is not recognized anywhere, including in the credits of
the film, in the usual course of industry practice, shall not be regarded as
performers except for the purposes of clause (b) of section 38B.'
In the case of Indian Performing Rights Society v Eastern Indian Motion Pictures
Association & Ors., It was held that if the author of a lyric or musical work
shares his portion of his copyright by allowing a film producer to insert it in
a film, the producer acquires the exclusive right to perform the work in public
without obtaining further permission from the writer.
The foremost concern of the Copyright Act is to protect labour, the skill of a
person which results in an innovative idea. It not only protects but also gives
recognition to the composer or the author. To attain this motive, the Copyright
Act has expressly given certain rights to the author.
The rights of the author
acknowledge both the economic and moral basis in consequence of which it acts as
a source of income and recognition to the author. These rights are transferable
only after the permission of the concerned author, failure to this will amount
to infringement. Various amendments have laid down various tests, theories in
These rights have created a direct pathway that leads towards the
enthusiasm for creating new and novel work. These rights are not only limited to
the development of a single entity but also focused on the development of the
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Available at https://shodhganga.inflibnet.ac.in/bitstream/10603/188175/10/10_chapter%203.pdf [Accessed
31 Aug. 2020].
- Jatin Kapoor (2017). What are the rights of an author under Copyright
law? [online] LegalRaasta Knowledge portal. Available at: https://www.legalraasta.com/blog/rights-author-copyright-law/amp/ [Accessed
31 Aug. 2020].
- Alikhan, S. (2002). The Role of Copyright in the Cultural and Economic
Development of Developing Countries. Journal of Intellectual Property
Rights, [online] 7, p.34. Available at: http://nopr.niscair.res.in/bitstream/123456789/4938/1/JIPR%207%286%29%20489-505.pdf
[Accessed 31 Aug. 2020].
- Bitlaw.com. (2014). Rights Granted Under Copyright Law (BitLaw).
[Online] Available at: https://www.bitlaw.com/copyright/scope.html#distribution [Accessed
31 Aug. 2020].
- Ladbroke Ltd v William Hill Ltd,  1 All ER 465, 469.
- Penguin Books Limited v India Book Distributors and others,  (4)
PTC 285 (Del.).
- Blackwood & Sons Ltd. v. Parsuraman AIR 1959 Mad. 410.
- Macmillan and Company Limited v K. &J. Cooper AIR 1924 PC 75.
- Raghunathan v. All India Reporters AIR 1971 Bom. 48.
- Garware Plastic and Polyester Ltd., for Bombay v. M / S Telelink AIR
- Indian Performing Rights Society v Eastern Indian Motion Pictures
Association & Ors. 1977 SCR (3) 206.
- Google.com. (2011). copyright rights - Google Search. [online] Available
[Accessed 10 Sep. 2020].
Award Winning Article Is Written By:�Ms.Archana Upadhyay
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