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Explained: Copyright and Legal Remedies Available in India

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

(Representative pic: Shutterstock)

An author or creator of original work gets copyright protection to ensure that they can get profit for their efforts

What is copyright?

Copyright is a bundle of rights which is vest with the author or creator of the original work, which gives them the exclusive right to reproduce and distribute the copyright work such as literary, dramatic, musical, artistic works, cinematographic films and sound recordings.

What is the importance of copyright?

  • It gives exclusive right to the owner of original work to reproduce, duplicate, transcribe and translate the work.
  • The owner can prevent the misuse of their original work and can take legal action if infringement takes place.
  • The owner has the sole right to get monetary benefits from their work.
  • Encourages society for creativity as owners enjoy the benefits and protection of their creative work.

What is copyright infringement?

An author or creator of original work gets copyright protection to ensure that they can get profit for their efforts. They have the sole authority either to sell the work or to license it to third party who can make use of such work. If someone duplicates or reproduces the work of copyright holder without the latter’s permission this will amount to copyright infringement.

What is the scope of protection in the Copyright Act, 1957?

The Copyright Act, 1957 protects original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and cinematograph films and sound recordings from unauthorized uses. Unlike the case with patents, copyright protects the expressions and not the ideas. There is no copyright in an idea.

Who is the owner of a work produced during the course of the author’s employment?

In the case of a work made in the course of the author’s employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship, the employer and not the author shall, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, be the first owner of the copyright therein.

Is copyright assignable?

Yes. The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright either wholly or partially and either generally or subject to limitations and either for the whole term of the copyright or any part thereof.

What is the term of copyright?

Copyright protection is granted to the author for a limited period i.e., life of author + 60 Years.

What is the exception to infringement under section 52 of The Copyright Act, 1957?

  • Private or personal use, including research.
  • Criticism or review, whether of that work or any other work etc.

What are the legal remedies available to an individual under Copyright Act, 1957?

The owner of a copyright is entitled to civil remedies such as injunction, damages, accounts amongst other remedies available under law. Jurisdiction for such cases lies with such district court within the local limits of whose jurisdiction, the person instituting the suit voluntarily resides or carries on business or personally works for gains.

(The author, Prachi Mishra, is a Supreme Court lawyer and Additional Advocate General, Chhattisgarh)

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