India Copyright Law

The copyright protection act 1957 is followed by the whole of India. It came in to force by the Central Government by notification in the official gazette. The main objective of the copyright act is to give protection to the owner or the creator. The earliest statue law in India relating to copyright is the Indian copyright act of 1847 passed during the east India Company’s regime. The Indian copyright act of 1914 was a modified version of the British copyright act of 1911.

The copyright act 1957 is the primary legislation dealing with the protection of copyright in India. It contains 79 sections and it is supplemented by the copyright rules of 1958. The protection act defines various terms such as author, artistic work, literary work, dramatic work, cinematography films, sound recordings, broadcasting, public undertaking, government work, works of international organization, music piracy, exclusive license, ownership, term of copyright etc.

The copyright act 1957 introduced many salient features. A copyright office was launched under the control of a Registrar. They will act under the superintendence and direction of the Central Government. The board has facilities for registration of copyright and to settle certain kinds of dispute arising under the act and for compulsory licensing of copyright. The term varies according to the categories of the author’s work.

It includes the Provisions to determine the first ownership of copyright in various categories of work, author’s special rights, civil and criminal remedies against infringement etc. It includes international protection for copyright such as namely Berne convention, universal copyright convention etc.

The copyright protection act is to encourage authors, composers and artists to create original works. The exclusive right is for a limited period to reproduce the works. It is mainly for the benefit of the public. On the expiry of the copyright term, the work belongs to the public domain and anyone may reproduce the work without permission.

India is a member of both the conventions which were revised at Paris in 1941. The parliament of India enacted the copyright amendment act 1983 with the specific purpose of incorporating the provisions of compulsory license for translation and reproduction of foreign works required for instructional purposes, protection of author’s right etc.

The next bill of the proposed amendment act 1984 includes the main objective such as increasing the punishment for the infringement of copyright, like imprisonment and fine. Enhanced punishment in case of second and subsequent provisions. The salient features of third amendment act 1994 provides performer’s rights protection of artistic presentation made by live performer, copyright societies seeking to promote collective administration of the rights of authors etc. The act was again amended in 1999 which amended definition of literary work meaning of copyright in respect of computer programme etc.