LCI Learning

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share on LinkedIn

Share on Email

Share More

Vibha Sahay
The word copyright derives from the expression copy of words, first used in this context in 1586. The word copy alone probably dates from 1485 and was used to connote manuscript or other matters prepared for printing. 
Copyright subsists in original literary works, films and sound recordings. The owner of the copyright subsisting in a work has the exclusive right to do certain acts in relation to the work such as making a copy, broadcasting or selling copies to the public. The owner of the copyright can control the exploitation of the work, for example, by making or selling copies to the public or by granting permission to another to do this in return for a payment. An example to this would be where the owner of the copyright in a work of literature permits a publishing company to print and sell copies of the work in book form in return for royalty payments, usually an agreed percentage of the price the publisher obtains for the books.
If you are into your own creation be it writing, composing or editing it is important that you know about copyright issues more than ever. There are millions of people who create original piece of music, research, or write books and other forms of creative expression. These are covered by the term intellectual property and are given protection under copyright laws.
It is an exclusive right, to dispose of, sell and commercially exploit an intellectual work, by means of printing lithography, graphic production, copying, moulds, casts, photography, a cinematograph film, gramophone record, or rolls for mechanical instruments, concerts, oral delivery or recitation theatrical representation, translation, adaptation, performance, broadcast transmission or any other form of reproduction and multiplication of copies or dissemination.[2][2]
A copyright law protects authors of original work of authorship. It rewards them for their creativity.
The principle of inherency applies to a copyright owner. The exclusive right of copyright follows as soon as the work comes into existence it is not mandatory for a copyright owner to get his work registered. These are not a single right but are multiple rights which can be enjoyed either jointly or independently.
The rights so conferred are exclusive in nature but it can be assigned or licensed to any other person to be enjoyed by him. However, such assignment or licensing shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the agreement between the copyright owner and the assignee or licensee.
The rights of a copyright owner can be classified into two categories.
(1)        Moral rights
(2)        Exclusive Rights
Moral rights
Moral rights of the author can be defined as a right to object to mutilation or alteration of the work and a right to claim authorship of the work. It belongs to the author as a matter of fact that the work is his exclusive creation and it belongs to the author only.
Exclusive rights
Exclusive rights of the owner can be termed as those rights whose exploitation benefits the author of the copyright economically. He can exploit the work himself or assign or license the same to other in whole or part consideration.
Exemption to rights of a copyright owner
The owner of the copyright has exclusive rights over his creation. In almost all the cases the author of a work is the first owner of the copyright however there are certain exemptions to it. Those exemptions are works of employment which are as follows:
(1)      If the work is made in the course of employment-
Where an employee writes at home in his spare time without the direction of the employer, it will solely belong to the employee and not to the employer because it will not be considered as a work done in the course of employment but if an employee creates a work in the course of employment with the direction of the employer then the employer would be considered as the first owner of such work.
(2)      Work done in course of employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship-
Creation of a work for the purpose of publication in newspaper, magazine or similar periodical by an employee has no right over the same unless there is an agreement contrary to the same. The rights of the employer are also the restricted to the extent of publication of the article and rest of the rights remains with the author of such work.
(3)      If the work is made in an authors employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship-
Where a photograph taken, or a painting or an engraving or cinematograph film is for valuable consideration received by another person such other person becomes the first owner of copyright provided there is no agreement to the contrary. However such work if done in the course of employment by a proprietor of a newspaper, magazine, or a similar periodical under a contract of service for the purpose of publication, of the said proprietor in the absence of any agreement to the contrary will become the first owner the work so far as it relates to the publication of the work in the such periodical or reproduction of the work for such purpose. In all other respects the author becomes the owner of the copyright.
(4)      Works done as a government work-
Where a government department gets a work done by its regular employees in the course of employment in such cases the government is the first owner of the copyright unless there is an agreement contrary to the same.
Term of copyright
Copyright shall subsist in any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work (other than a photograph) published within the lifetime of the author until 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which author dies. In case of a joint authorship, the copyright shall subsist until 60 years of the author who dies last.
Infringement of copyright
Infringement here means the interference with, or violation of the copyright of another which happens when a person other than the owner or author does such acts which is the exclusive rights of the author or owner.
Reproduction without a license of a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work, copy made of a cinematograph film, recording of sound recording, or a cinematograph of such film of such programs or performance in relation of which broadcasts, reproduction right or performers right subsists would amount to infringing copies.
Where a person without the license granted by the owner of a copyright or by the registrar of copyright or in contravention of the grant by the copyright owner uses the exclusive right of the owner causes primary infringement. Where the work is communicated to the public constitute secondary infringement.
Exception to infringement
(1)        In case of fair use
(2)        In case of computer programme
In case of fair use-The Copyright law provides that a fair use of a work by the other person does not amount to infringing copyrights. Fair use allows general public to use a copyrighted work even if it has not been expressly permitted or granted by the copyright owner. A copyright owner is deemed to consent to the fair use of his copyrighted work.
A fair use which does not amount to infringement may be
(i)         Criticism or review of a work,
(ii)        Research or private study,
(iii)       Reporting current events in a newspaper or similar periodical or by broadcast or by means of   photograph.
However, the defence of fair use should not be used by a defendant in all manners. The objective standard should be whether the manner in which the copyrighted work has been used by the defendant is the same manner in which a fair minded and a man of ordinary prudence would use the same work.
In case of Computer programme-There are certain acts in computer programme which does not constitute infringement. The making of copies or adaptation of a computer programme by a lawful possessor of a copy in order to utilize the computer programme for the purpose for which it was provided or to make a back up of copies purely as a temporary protection against loss, destruction or damage in order to utilize it for the purpose for which it was supplied does not constitute infringement.
The copyright Act, 1957 of India under Section 52 deals with the acts which does not constitute infringement of copyright.
According to the law, it is not legal to violate any of these rights, and if the owner of a copyright wins in a claim for copyright infringement, the court may order both preliminary and permanent injunctions barring any and all present and future infringements and may also order the surrender of the offending materials.
General Analysis
Many people think it is a long process for getting copyright protections but you may not be even aware that a copyright is a right which comes into existence the moment you put your creation into material medium of expression. An article you write is protected, as is a song or music whether it is in sheet music, on a CD, or both forms of media. Despite this fact it is still recommended that you register formally with the Copyright Office to establish a public record and give yourself concrete legal protection for any suits filed in court.
With the enormous increase in the use of internet, infringement of intellectual property specially copyrights such as pirating of books, music, and other intellectual property has also increased
It is entirely up to the creator who has put in efforts and creativity to make a piece of art to give importance to register formally with the copyright office to establish a public record and give concrete legal protection to their creation or to simply overlook the same.
There is a complete procedure under copyright law to give legal protection to an original piece of work.
According to the copyright law, the owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to distribute, reproduce, perform, and display their work. The rights are transferable by the owner who may license them, sell them, donate them to charity or even leave them to their heirs. However, there are certain limits and closely drawn exceptions such as fair dealing with the work. For example if a person makes a single copy of a few pages of a book for the purpose of private study it would be considered as a fair dealing with the work. Other acts may be carried out in relation to the work if they are not restricted by the copyright, for example, borrowing a recording of music to listen to in private. 
Copyright exists in every individuals article which we read, composers music which we listen, computer software which we are using or movies or television shows which we watch. Very few people have knowledge about how copyright law operates and protects every individuals own creation. The purpose to promote awareness towards copyright is to secure for limited time an exclusive right of use of an authors writing and creation and to appreciate learning and knowledge of an individual.
It is very difficult to sum up the importance of copyright in terms of words but the kind of protection it gives to an individual is important in its own way. It encourages an individual to develop knowledge, learning and talent.
Truly speaking, an individual in a day to day exercise of work and amusement comes across so many copyrighted articles, compositions or work of art or even any software which he uses for his work to research, write e-mails etc. One should be aware that today with internet; infringement of such an intellectual property has become easier than ever before.
It takes a simple effort to ensure that what you have created is solely yours and not allow anybody to infringe your copyrighted and take advantage of that which actually belongs to you.
(Author is an Associate in a law firm in Mumbai)


"Loved reading this piece by AEJAZ AHMED?
Join LAWyersClubIndia's network for daily News Updates, Judgment Summaries, Articles, Forum Threads, Online Law Courses, and MUCH MORE!!"

Tags :

Category Intellectual Property Rights, Other Articles by - AEJAZ AHMED