Indian law provides copyright protection to the creators of original works of authorship such as literary works, musical compositions, visual arts, cinematographic works, and sound recordings (including computer programmes, tables, compilations, computer databases expressed in words, codes, schemes, or in any other form, including a machine-readable medium). The copyright law defends ideas'representations rather than ideas themselves. Under Section 13 of the Copyright Act of 1957, all original works, including plays, songs, movies, and sound recordings, are protected from copying. For instance, the Act protects literary works such as books and computer programmes.
The term "copyright" refers to a collection of exclusive rights that Section 14 of the Act grants to the owner of copyright. Only the copyright owner or another person who has been properly granted permission to do so by the copyright owner may exercise these rights. These rights include the ability to adapt, reproduce, publish, translate, and communicate with the public, among other things. All original literary, artistic, musical, or dramatic works as well as cinematic and sound recording works are protected by copyright laws.
Original simply indicates that no other source has been used to duplicate the work. A work is protected by copyright from the moment it is made, and registration is not required. For better protection, it is always suggested to register, though. Copyright registration just establishes an entry for the work in the Copyright Register kept by the Registrar of Copyrights and does not grant any rights.
The author or creator of the work is the initial owner of the copyright, according to Section 17 of the Act. An caveat to this rule is that when an employee creates a work while performing their duties, the employer takes ownership of the copyright.
For a copyright proprietor who wants to pursue a civil or criminal action against the infringer, copyright registration is crucial. The registration process is straightforward, and there is minimal documentation. If the work was produced by someone other than the employee, a copy of the assignment deed must be submitted with the application. One of the greatest benefits of copyright protection is that it is available in many nations across the world, even though the work is initially published in India due to India's membership in the Berne Convention. In regards to all nations that are signatories to the treaties and conventions to which India is a party, protection is given to works that were originally published in India. Therefore, works first published in India are protected by copyright throughout a number of nations without the need to explicitly apply for it. The Indian government also extended copyright protection to encompass works that were first published outside of India with the International Copyright Order, 1999.
Indian viewpoint on copyright defence: India offers copyright defence under the Copyright Act of 1957. The following two types of copyright protection are granted by it:
Author economic rights and Author moral rights.
(B) Economic Rights: Original literary, dramatic, musical, and aesthetic works as well as cinematographed films and sound recordings are protected by copyright. The creators of the works mentioned above have economic rights under Section 14 of the Act. The rights are primarily reserved for literary, dramatic, and musical works, excluding computer programmes. These rights include the ability to publish copies of the work for distribution to the public, perform the work in public or communicate it to the public, make cinematograph films or sound recordings based on the work, and translate or adapt it in any way.
In the case of computer programmes, the author is additionally given the freedom to sell, whether it has already been sold or rented, any copy of the programme in addition to the rights listed above. In the case of an artistic work, the rights available to an author include the right to reproduce the work in any medium, including the depiction of a two-dimensional or three-dimensional work in two dimensions, to communicate with the general public or distribute copies of the work, to incorporate the work into any cinematographic work, and to create any adaptations of the work.
When it comes to cinematograph movies, the director is free to show the film to the public and make copies of it, along with images from it that can be photographed. They can also sell or rent out copies of the movie or offer them for rent or sale. The author of a sound recording also has access to these rights. In addition to the rights mentioned above, the author of a painting, sculpture, drawing, or manuscript of a literary, dramatic, or musical work, if he was the first owner of the copyright, shall have a right to share in the resale price of such original copy, provided that the resale price exceeds Rs. 10,000.
(B) Moral Rights: The two fundamental “moral rights of an author” are described in Section 57 of the Act. These include the rights to paternity and to integrity.
The term “right of paternity” refers to an author’s ability to claim authorship of a work and to forbid any other parties from doing the same. The author’s right to integrity gives him the authority to stop actions that can harm his reputation or honour, such as distorting, mutilating, or otherwise altering his work.
The qualification to section 57(1) specifies that, in any case, the author has no right to prevent or demand payment for any modification of a computer programme covered by section 52 (1) (aa) (i.e., reverse engineering of the same). It should be made clear that the rights granted by this section are not considered to have been violated if a work is not displayed or is not displayed in a way that pleases the creator. The rights granted to an author of a work by section 57(1), aside from the right to claim authorship of the work, may be exercised by the author’s legal representatives.
India has robust and efficient copyright protection that can protect the concerned person’s copyright. The protection covers both the classic meaning of copyright as well as its contemporary use. Thus, even if they are not explicitly stated, online copyright issues are equally well covered.
The current legal system can be used to ensure that all copyright-related issues are properly covered in order to address the challenges that are continually growing as a result of changing circumstances and cutting-edge technology. Using the purposive interpretation technique, which calls for the current legislation to be interpreted in a way that ensures justice is done in light of the facts and circumstances of the case, is one way to do this.
Alternately, current laws should be changed to reflect the situation. It is also feasible to supplement the current laws with new ones that specifically address and address and deal with contemporary concerns and difficulties. The Information Technology Act of 2000 calls for a new perspective and orientation in order to properly meet the challenges the Intellectual Property Rights system presents in this information technology era. Until the country has such a strong and stable legal base for their protection, the judiciary should actively participate in defending these rights, including the copyright. However, the situation is not as serious as it seems, and any issues relating to copyright infringement can be successfully handled by the current legal system.
By- Sriparna Mukherjee
Profession – Student
University – Amity University Kolkata
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