The future of copyright in India

The future of copyright in India

Ayan Roy Chowdhury *

Legal context: The copyright laws in India are set to be amended with the introduction of the provisions for anti-circumvention and Rights Management Information in the Indian copyright regime although India is under no obligation to introduce these changes as it is not a signatory to WCT or WPPT.

Key points: The main purpose of these provisions and measures is to prevent illegal commercial copying, a menace which hits the Indian movie and music industry significantly enough to ensure that the industry forms a strong lobby in such proposals. India has amended its copyright legislation over the years to accommodate technological changes and prevent piracy; however, the problem has only escalated over the years. Technological measures impose restrictions on the access to content and impose other restrictions on the use of the same.

Practical significance: Who are the actual stakeholders behind advocating these changes? Is it Bollywood or the same Hollywood studios which lobbied for the same changes in international legislation? What may be the cultural implications of adopting such changes in Indian copyright laws? The paper would attempt to assess the cultural effect of the combined legal and technical measures being proposed under the copyright laws in India.

Key Words: The war between copyright's big battalions and those who would profit from unauthorized use of protected works is now being fought on the battlefield of the new digital technologies, where legal rights are supplemented by weaponry such as digital rights management (DRM) techniques and the employment of technical solutions for the prevention of access to works. • In the heat of this battle, little attention is paid to the cultural dimension to copyright exploitation or to the impact of devices such as DRM and restrictions upon access upon developing societies, particularly with regard to the relationship between indigenous copyright-based industries and those of the developed world. • Taking the relationship of Hollywood to Bollywood as a case in point, this article reviews proposals for copyright reform in India in terms of their potential impact on the viability of that country's copyright-based industries and the prospects for the preservation of its multilingual and multicultural make-up

 

Published in Intellectual Property Rights
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