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Digitalization And Copyright Infringement: A Critical Analysis

When you have the wit of your own, itís a pleasure to credit other people for theirs.- Criss Jami Killosophy

The article talks about the circumstance where the copyright of a person is infringed via online mode or in cyberspace. The advancements in technologies and the era of digitalization have paved an easy way for communication and accessibility. The advantages provided by digitalization cannot be denied but the disadvantages attached to it cannot be overlooked.

The internet poses a threat to copyright content that is available on the digital platform as copying the content of a copyright holder has become an easy task that can be done with no or less time. Further, the article deals with the copyright challenges that are faced in the digital era as the free flow of information has become easy and rapid.

In India, section 65B of the Copyright Act deals with the protection of rights management information to bring the Digital Right Management System which helps to avoid duplicating or piracy of content. The aim of the article is to understand and analyze the laws that protect the right of the copyright holder in the digital era through judicial interpretation. While researching for the article the author feels that there is a need for a society to understand the importance of protecting the rights of the copyright holder to avoid any further unauthorized use of the content.

Introduction
The copyright law protects oneís own creation and grants them an exclusive right over it from which the copyright holder can derive economic benefits. In India, Copyright Act, 1957 protects the artistic, literary, musical, and dramatic work of an Individual. The aim behind copyright law is to promote creativity encourage authors, composers, directors to create their original works in lieu of providing them exclusive rights.[1]

The owner of the copyright can enjoy and exploit several rights which include the right to reproduce the work, to make copies, perform in public, and make adaptations, translations, selling, or rental rights in different categories of work[2]. The advancements and growth in technologies have led to the proliferation of e-business due to the easy and fast way of communication, accessibility, and convenience.

The advantages of technological advancements and the internet cannot be denied but its disadvantages cannot be overlooked. Due to the advancement in technologies and easy access to the internet, infringing the rights of a copyright holder has become an easy task that can be done with no or less time. The era of digitalization where technologies have been enhancing gradually has created a threat to the content and rights of the copyright owner.

Copyright Issues In Digital Era

The advancements in technologies and the era of digitalization have led to the evolution of copyright law. Due to technological advancement, the transmission and free flow of information or work have become easy and rapid. This poses an imminent challenge for the copyright owner for protecting his copyright in a digital platform as the internet raises tons of legal issues. One of the major challenges is maintaining a balance between copyright and the internet.

Internet poses a threat to copyright as creating copies or duplication of content that is published on the internet has become a trouble-free task. Due to the increase in digitalization, it has become very difficult to make a distinction between the original and the duplicate work.

The era of digitalization and technological advancement has created easy, fast, and cost-efficient access across the globe. It has its advantages, which cannot be denied at the same time it also has its flipside which also cannot be overlooked. Due to innovation in technologies, there is no limit or restriction imposed on reaching the audience as nowadays everyone has access to the internet. In this era where every kind of work is available on the internet today that includes computer software, literary, multimedia and artistic work, etc.[3].

Any material that is available on the internet can be easily accessible and downloaded by anybody bearing no cost. The issues of copyright infringement increase with evolving and developing technologies. The matters of copyright infringement have become difficult to adjudicate due to many complexities and the internet being a threat and challenge to copyright law.

Position In India

The innovation in technological advancements has posed a threat to copyright. Infringement of copyright has become an easy task and can be done by anybody with a computer who can modify or copy the content available on the internet. Section 51 of the Copyright Act, 1957 states the actions that can commit copyright infringement. The Copyright Amendment, 2012 has made few changes in the act with the emerging need due to the growth in technologies and digitalization.

Section 65A and section 65B are added in the copyright act via the 2012 amendment which deals with the protection of rights management information for bringing in Digital Rights Management System with the objective of protecting oneís copyright and avoiding piracy. Digital Rights Management is a set of policies, techniques, and tools for monitoring and guiding the authorized usage of the content. Some of the methods of Digital Rights Management are digital watermarking, encryption, electronic signature, etc.[4].

One of the major challenges for the Courts in India is to maintain a balance between the Internet and copyright. In the era of digitalization, the use of the internet for infringing the copyright of the owner can be seen by the judicial interpretation mentioned below.

In the case of Super Cassettes Industries v Myspace Inc. & Anr[5].that was decided in Delhi High Court. The Super Cassettes is well known and popular record label company in India which is commonly known as T-Series and is a holder of many copyrights for its recordings. The Myspace &Anr. owned a big cable network in Uttarakhand that broadcasted the copyrighted content of T-series in public without their permission and made it available for online downloading and streaming. T-Series filed a suit against Myspace and approached the Delhi High Court for the same.

It was held by the High Court that broadcasting the copyrighted content and making available it to the public on the online platform without getting prior permission and authorization of the copyright holder violates the right of the holder and will be considered as copyright infringement. Further, the court gave a permanent injunction againstMyspace and ordered them to provide damages to the plaintiff.

In the case of Disney Enterprises v. Kim Cartoon and others[6]that was decided by Delhi High Court. Disney Enterprises owns the business of creating, producing, and distributing films and motion pictures. Kim Cartoon was a website that runs the movies on their site and grants free access to the customers for the pirated movies. A suit was filed by Disney enterprise against the Kim Cartoon and two other websites they included Ministries of telecommunication and many Internet Service Providers as a defendant.

Disney claimed that the defendants are showing and broadcasting their copyrighted content without their authorization and permission. Delhi High Court held that the acts of the defendants were infringing the plaintiffís copyright and gave an interim injunction against the defendant and ordered them not to broadcast any illegal content. Further, the ministries were ordered to seize the network of the Internet Service Providers that broadcasting the Plaintiffís content.

Conclusion
The Copyright of a person should be protected whether it is in the physical or online mode because a person puts his skill, labor, and creativity into it. Copyright infringement defeats the objective of copyright law that is to grant an exclusive right to the copyright holder. The Copyright law of India has been strengthened by Amendment in Copyright Act that aims to safeguards copyright work in both physical and online mode.

The innovations and technological advancements are increasing day by day with these emerging technologies the copyright laws need to be evolved with the current needs of the society as due to digitalization new threats are being imposed on the copyright law. There is an immense need for society to understand and be educated about the necessity of protecting oneís copyright so it can help in curtailing unauthorized use of the work. It is important for us to understand that what is worth copying is prima facie worth protecting.

End-Notes:
  1. Mr. AtulSatwaJaybhaye, Cyber Law And IPR Issues: The Indian Perspective, Bharati Law Review, Manupatra, (2016
  2. Sec. 14, Copyright Act, 1957.
  3. Dr. V.K Ahuja, Law of Copyright &Neighboring Rights, National and International Perspectives, LexisNexis, Butterworths (2007)
  4. Sangharsh Pandey, Changing Mechanism in Copyright Ontology: Digital Rights Management, Manupatra, (2018)
  5. 2011 (48) PTC 49 (Del)
  6. CS (COMM) 275/2020 & I.A. No. 6089/2020
Written By:
  1. Navin Kumar Jaggi
  2. Bhavya Bhasin

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