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N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     11 February 2009

Case of defamation in copyright own by another person.

Can there be a case of defamation by a person over a copyright that is own by another person?


 12 Replies

Vinodkumar Kotabagi (Advocate and Trademark Attorney)     11 February 2009

 Sir, ur question is not clear. Can u furhter clarify that who owns the copyright, who has defamed and who wants to file case, that is whether copyright owner or third person??

Manish Singh (Advocate)     11 February 2009

Dear Sir,

under the Copyright act, we can go for remedies against infringements which can also be criminal in nature but for defamation we must proceed either under civil laws or criminal laws ie IPC. for defamation under IPC we must show that the pubication has harmed our reputation in one way or other.

Manish Singh (Advocate)     11 February 2009

so mere publication without any immorality can not be construed as defamation.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     11 February 2009

Dear Manishji, thank you for your kind contribution. 

Dear Vinod, consider this. you allow an advertising agent to take your photograph for publication in news paper. The paper was published showing your photograph. Now the advertising agent is the owner of the photograph as per the copyright. The advertising agent gave the photograph to another company and the company made an advertisement out of that photograph as given by the advertising agent the owner of the copyright. Now can you file a  case of defamation against the company who used your photograph for advertisement of their company which was given by the advertsing agent the owner of the copyright of that photograph of yours?

Vinodkumar Kotabagi (Advocate and Trademark Attorney)     11 February 2009

 Dear Sir, in that case, it will always depend on the terms of agreement between me and the advertisement agent. The Copyright Act is silent as to who shall be the copyright owner. This right can be transfered as any other property.

However, in such case, normally the company for which the advertisement agent took the photo has the copyright and only it can take action for the infringment of the copyright. I (or the model) does not have any remedy like defamation. If the advertising agent has violated the terms of the contract betwen the model and the agent, then the model can sue for breach of contract, but not for defamation.

I genuinely feel that in the matters of copyright, the question of defamation does not arise in any case. 

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 February 2009

Thank you Vinodji.

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 February 2009

Dear Vinodji, What about copyright in artistic work?

Vinodkumar Kotabagi (Advocate and Trademark Attorney)     12 February 2009

 Photography is a best example of artistic work. In every artistic work, the person who has created the work is the owner of the copyright. However, in certain cases, if the artist is employed by some person then that employer becomes the owner of the copyright. And this applies not only to artistic work but any work which is copyrightable. 

N.K.Assumi (Advocate)     12 February 2009

Dear vinodji, I really appreciate your contributions.

Naqeeb Nawab (IPR Consultant)     09 March 2009

One thing I will like to add on here is the doctrine of exhaustion.

If a person has relinquished his/her right over the intellectual property, he/she cannot thereafter seek right over the subject matter

arun kumar sharma (ADVOCATE)     13 March 2009

i am facing charges under 147,498a,323,504,506&3 / 4 d.p.act also another case under 125 and 406 all the cases my wife and her parents have claimed to hv given dowry of 11lacs.they have also accused me of having illicit relations with my bhabhi.i want to know that can me and my bhabhi file a defamation case? if so then what is the procedure and if any court fees has to be

Gagan Gupta (Advocate)     01 May 2009

There r civil and criminal defamations. Even truth is also not complete defence in civil case. Civil suit could be regarding damages and injuction. Court fee will depend upon the amout of damages. quantum of damages depend upon staus in society.

If person depose falsly before cour t or file false complaint than also he is criminally liable.

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