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Salil Kumar Adv   12 March 2024

copy Right of a novel to be made a film

A novel written by an author ( who is no more) is going to be made as a film. its Copyrights are with his sons. Now the producer of the film wants to get the copyright from the Sons of the late author . my doubt is that whether it can be done by an agreement of assignment between the producer of the film and the Sons of the late author in a Stamp Paper ?


 4 Replies

Kartikey Tiwari   12 March 2024

The copyright assignment process involves transferring ownership of copyrighted work from the original creator (or owner) to another person or entity. In this case, the producer of the film wishes to obtain the copyright from the late author’s sons.


Here are the key points regarding copyright assignment in India:


Written Assignment Agreement:

As per the Copyright Act, 1957, the assignment of copyright must be done through a written assignment deed.

This agreement should be signed by the assignor (the late author’s sons) or their duly authorized agent.

The assignment deed must identify the specific work (in this case, the novel) and clearly specify the rights being assigned.


Agreement Content: The agreement should clearly outline:


*Names and details of the parties involved (sons and producer)

*Descripttion of the copyrighted work (novel title, author)

*Specific rights being assigned (film adaptation rights, including remakes, sequels, etc.)

*Territory (where the film can be distributed)

*Duration of the rights transfer (perpetual or limited time)

*Consideration (payment to the sons for the rights)

*Representations and warranties (confirming ownership and right to assign)

*Termination clauses (conditions under which the agreement can be terminated)

*Dispute resolution process


Assignment without Goodwill:

The assignor transfers absolute rights and values associated with the copyright to the assignee (producer). After this agreement, the assignor will not be able to use any works related to the copyright. For instance, if the novel is part of a series or label, all associated works will belong to the assignee.


Types of copyright Assignments

Under this type, the copyright related to a particular work is assigned to the assignee, but the assignor retains the right to use and assign other works not covered by this agreement.


Stamp Paper Requirement:

While a stamp paper is not mandatory for copyright assignment, it is advisable to execute the assignment deed on a stamp paper for legal validity.

The value of the stamp paper depends on the state where the agreement is executed. Generally, a nominal value is sufficientauthor. 


Royalty and Consideration:

The assignment agreement should specify the amount of royalty and any other consideration payable to the author’s legal heirs during the currency of the assignment. Parties can mutually agree on terms related to revision, extension, or termination of the assignment.

In summary, the producer can indeed obtain the copyright from the late author’s sons through a properly drafted assignment agreement.


Additional Points:


Make sure the sons are the legal heirs and copyright holders. If there are other heirs, their consent might be required.

The agreement should specify if the sons retain any moral rights over the work (e.g., right to attribution).

By following these steps, the film producer can secure the film adaptation rights through a well-defined Agreement of Assignment with the sons of the late author.

1 Like

T. Kalaiselvan, Advocate (Advocate)     13 March 2024

The agreement can be entered into or the copyright may be purchased by a  negotiation also 

Real Soul.... (LEGAL)     13 March 2024

Just execute a sale agreement,

Hridaya Sharma   24 April 2024

According to the Copyright Act of 1957,  authors have the exclusive right over their work and their work cannot be used by anyone without the approval of the author or any other copyright holder (such as the author's legal guardian or heir).

In order the make a novel into a film, the filmmaker must have the required rights that are to be acquired from the copyright holder which in this case are the sons of the late author.

Copyright agreements can be made on stamp paper but simply making them on the stamp paper does not make them binding to the law. It should also be in line with the existing Copyright laws, Contract laws or any other relevant laws.

While making the agreement, do take the guidance of legal professionals to have both the parties' intentions of agreeing clearly portrayed.

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