Copyright: Indian Law Protects Intellectual Property

Copyright- In General

The phrase "exclusive right to do or permit others to do specified things with relation to literary, dramatic, or musical works, creative works, cinematograph films, and sound recordings" is used to define copyright. Any major component of the work, as well as any translation or modification of the work, are all included in the exclusive right to carry out the appropriate acts. Copyright legislation is designed to protect the author of a copyright work from unauthorised copying or use of their work.

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By providing authors, composers, and artists with the exclusive right to replicate their works for the benefit of the public for a set period of time, the intention is to encourage them to produce unique works. Because to technological innovation, it is now quick and simple to duplicate protected material. Controlling copyright infringement has been much harder as a result. Books, audio tapes, and software may be simply sent from one country to another and copied hundreds of times. Copyright infringement has become easier and less expensive because to photocopies.

The Copyright Act, 1957, which is supported by the Copyright Rules, 2013, serves as the primary piece of law for copyright protection in India. Sound recordings, cinematograph films, and original literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works all have copyrights, according to the Copyright Act. A cinematograph film does not have a copyright if a substantial section of it breaches the copyright of another work, nor does a sound recording have a copyright in a work if it was violated while being made. The legislation also protects computer programs as "literary creations."

Nature of copyright

A collection of many rights in one work make up the multiple right known as copyright. These rights may be leased or transferred in their entirety or in part. Thus, the rights of reproduction in hardcover and paperback editions, serial publication in magazines, dramatic and cinematic versions, translations, adaptations, abridgements, public performances of plays or musical works, etc. are all applicable to literary works.

Scope of copyright

The statute is what gave rise to copyright. Except as permitted by the Copyright Act, no person has any other claim to copyright or a comparable right in any work. In essence, copyright law deals with the negative right of prohibiting the duplication of tangible works of art and literature. Its goal is to safeguard the original work's author or creator against un- authorized duplication or exploitation of his contents. The right also extends to prohibiting anybody from using any other copyright-related rights without authorization, such as the right to create a theatrical or cinematic adaptation of a work of literature or to translate, modify, or abbreviate it.

Rights of the Copyright Owner

This allows the work's owner full and alone authority to:

o The owner may reproduce the work themself or may authorise others to reproduce it.

o Any derivative works that are produced from the original work are produced by the copyright holder or the person authorized.

o The public may also obtain a copy of the owner's creation in any format, including through sales, transfers of ownership, rentals, and leases.

o Any work that is copyrighted may be performed and displayed in public with ease.

o All forms of creative expression, including as music, theatre, performances, visual arts, and film, are covered by these rights.

Term Of Copyright

In the years before to the Copyright (Amendment) Act of 1992, the time frame was 50 years after the author's demise. The submission deadline is 60 years from the author's death. However, as the creators of cinematographic films, records, and photographs frequently operate as corporations, groups, enterprises, or individuals, they are excluded from the 60-year rule.

Furthermore, not all countries employ the same term. The justification for this deviation is that these works are soon rendered obsolete and do not merit or require protection for a prolonged length of time. As a result, depending on the type of work and the jurisdiction, the copyright duration varies. The type of work, the type of copyright owner, and whether or not the work has been published all have a role in how everything works. Sections 22 to 29 of the Copyright Act of 1957 define the term "copyright" as it relates to various works.

Exemptions of Copyright

Without the explicit consent of the copyright holders, a fair deal of research, study, critique, review, and news reporting, as well as the use of works in libraries, schools, and legislatures, are permitted. Some exemptions to the rules for certain uses of works protected by copyright have been established in order to safeguard the interests of users.

Among the exceptions for the work's usage are some of the following:

 for review or critique

for the purpose of private study or research

o to report on the latest occurrences

o in relation to a legal proceeding

o presentation by an amateur group or organization if the audience is not being charged to attend.

o the process of recording musical, theatrical, or literary compositions using sound under specific circumstances

Infringement of copyright

A copyright is violated when someone does anything without the proper consent that the copyright holder has the exclusive ability to do. The Copyright Act provides for both civil and criminal consequences for copyright infringement. When a copyright infringement is confirmed, the owner of the copyright is entitled to remedies such an injunction, damages, and an order for the seizure and destruction of the infringing items.

No matter the author's nationality, copyright protection is only granted to works that were originally published in India, unless the author is a foreign national whose country does not reciprocally grant copyright protection to the works of Indian authors. On a reciprocal basis, unpublished and posthumously published works would likewise be protected in India. Since India is a signatory to both the Berne Convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, works published there are given copyright protection (with some restrictions), which essentially applies to all nations in the world.

In India, works by international organisations like the United Nations, its specialised agencies, and the Organization of American States are protected by copyright regardless of where they are published, as long as the international organisation published them first, there was no copyright in India at the time of publication, and any copyright in the work belonged to the organization.

On a reciprocal basis, that is, given that Indian writers also have the same protection, works by international authors whose initial publications were made in India shall be protected in India.


Works of intellectual property include inventions, literary and artistic creations, as well as logos, names, and other identifying characteristics used in business. Rights to intellectual property resemble other types of ownership. They make it possible for those who have produced things or are the proprietors of patents, trademarks, or works that are copyright protected to profit from their own skill or original investment. Intellectual property includes all works of the mind, including inventions, literary and artistic creations, designs, and any symbols, names, or pictures used in business. The nature, scope, rights, term, exemption, and infringement of copyright are all covered in this article.

Author: Mohit Kanwal - a student of K.R. Mangalam University, Gurgaon, in case of any query, contact us at Global Patent Filing, or write back us via email at

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