When you have the wit of your own, itís a pleasure to credit other people
.- 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.
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.
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. 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,
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
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..
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
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
In the case of Disney Enterprises v. Kim Cartoon and others
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
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.
- Mr. AtulSatwaJaybhaye, Cyber Law And IPR Issues: The Indian Perspective,
Bharati Law Review, Manupatra, (2016
- Sec. 14, Copyright Act, 1957.
- Dr. V.K Ahuja, Law of Copyright &Neighboring Rights, National and
International Perspectives, LexisNexis, Butterworths (2007)
- Sangharsh Pandey, Changing Mechanism in Copyright Ontology: Digital
Rights Management, Manupatra, (2018)
- 2011 (48) PTC 49 (Del)
- CS (COMM) 275/2020 & I.A. No. 6089/2020
- Navin Kumar Jaggi
- Bhavya Bhasin