the work that has been originated from an author and is more than a mere copy of the original work, would be sufficient to generate copyright. This approach is consistent with the sweat of the brow standards of originality. The creation of the work which has resulted from little bit of skill, labour and capital are sufficient for a copyright in derivative work of an author. Decisions propounded a theory that an author deserves to have his or her efforts in producing a work, rewarded. The work of an author need not be in an original form or novel form, but it should not be copied from another s work, that is, it should originate from the author. The originality requirement in derivative work is that it should originate from the author by application of substantial degree of skill, industry or experience. Precondition to copyright is that work must be produced independently and not copied from another person. Where a compilation is produced from the original work, the compilation is more than simply a re-arranged copyright of original, which is often referred to as skill, judgment and or labour or capital. The copyright has nothing to do with originality or literary merit. Copyrighted material is that what is created by the author by his skill, labour and investment of capital, maybe it is derivative work. The courts have only to evaluate whether derivative work is not the end-product of skill, labour and capital which is trivial or negligible but substantial. The courts need not go into evaluation of literary merit of derivative work or creativity aspect of the same.
Eastern Book Company & Ors vs D.B. Modak & Anr on 12 December, 2007
Bench: B Agrawal, P Naolekar
Appeal (civil) 6472 of 2004
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 12/12/2007
The copyright protection finds its justification in fair play. When a person produces something with his skill and labour, it normally belongs to him and the other person would not be permitted to make a profit out of the skill and labour of the original author and it is for this reason the Copyright Act, 1957 gives to the authors certain exclusive rights in relation to the certain work referred in the Act. The object of the Act is to protect the author
of the copyright work from an unlawful reproduction or exploitation of his work by others.