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THE COPYRIGHT ACT, 1957

Updated: Jun 16

Written By: Tanushree Jaiswal, University of Allahabad

INTRODUCTION:

The Copyright deals with the rights of intellectual creators in their creation. The Copyright law deals with the particular forms of creativity, concerned primarily with mass communication. It is also concerned with virtually all forms and methods of public communication, not only printed publications but also with such matters as sound, and television broadcasting, films for public exhibition etc. and even computerized systems for the storage and retrieval of information.

MEANING:

Copyright is a right given by the law to creators of:

LITERARY,

DRAMATIC,

MUSICAL AND

PRODUCERS OF CINEMATOGRAPHIC FILMS AND

SOUND RECORDINGS

Copyright includes right of reproduction, communication to the public, adaption and translation of the work.

In order to be Copyrighted A work must show certain minimum levels of creativity and originality. Copyright protection is not granted for an abstract idea or can facts be Copyrighted. The Copyright law, protects only the form of expression of ideas, So only author's manner of expressing or compiling the facts can be Copyrighted.

ARTISTIC WORK- Section 2(c)

"Artistic Work" means:

1. A Painting, sculpture, a drawing (including a diagram, map, chart or plan), an engraving or photograph.

2. Work of architecture.

DRAMATIC WORK

"Dramatic Work" includes any piece for recitation, choreographic work or entertainment in dumb show, the scenic arrangement or acting form of which is fixed in writing or otherwise; but does not include a Cinematograh Film.

LITERARY WORK- Section 2(o)

"Literary Work" includes Computer programs, tables and compilations including Computer database.

Compilation of database developed by devoting time, money, labour and skill, is a Literary work.

COMPUTER PROGRAM- Section 2(f)

"Computer program" means set f instruction expressed in words, codes, schemes or any other including a machine-readable medium capable of causing Computer to perform a particular task or achieve a particular result.

MUSICAL WORK- Section 2(p)

"Musical Work" means a work consisting of music and includes any graphical notation of such work, but does not includes any words or any action intended to sung, spoken or performed with the music.

CINEMATOGRAPH FILM

"Cinematograph Film" means any work of visual recording on any medium produced through a process.

(i) From which a moving image may be produced by any means and includes a sound recording accompanying such visual recording.

(ii) Cinematograph includes Video Films.

In Balwinder Singh v. Delhi Administration (1984), it has been held that both video and television are "Cinematograph".

SOUND RECORDING- Section 2(xx)

"Sound Recording" means aggregate of sounds from which such sound may be produced regardless of the medium on which such recording is made or the method by which the sounds are produced.

DEFINITION:

Section 14 of the Copyright Act, 1957 defines:

"Copyright" as an exclusive right subject to the provisions of the Act to do or authorise the doing of any of the acts stated thereunder in respect of a work or any substantial part thereof with regard to original Literary, Dramatic, Musical and Artistic works; the Cinematography Films and Sound Recording.

IN THE CASE OF LITERARY, DRAMATIC OR MUSICAL WORK:

-Reproducing the work in any material from which includes storing of it any medium by Electronic means.

-Issuing copies of the work to the Public which are not already in circulation.

-Performing the work in public or communicating it to the Public.

-Making any Cinematographic Film or Sound Recording in respect of the work.

-Making any translation or adaptation of the work.

IN THE CASE OF COMPUTER PROGRAMME:

-To do any of the acts specified in respect of a Literary, Dramatic or Musical work; and

-To sell or give on Commercial Rental or offer for sale of for Commercial Rental any copy of the Computer programme.

IN THE CASE OF AN ARTISTIC WORK:

-Communicating the work to the Public.

-Issuing the copies of work to the Public.

-Including work in any Cinematographic Film.

-Making adaptation of the work.

IN THE CASE OF CINEMATOGRAPHIC FILM AND SOUND RECORDING:

-Selling or giving on hire or offer for sale or hire any copy of the Film/Sound Recording.

-Communicating the Film/Sound Recording to the Public.

PERFORMER'S RIGHT- (Section 38, 38B)

Performer has exclusive right to do or authorize to do any person following acts:

1. To make Sound Recording or Visual Recording of Performance.

2. To make Reproduction of any recording of his Performance.

3. To issue copies to Public or to communicate to Public his work.

4. To Sell or give on Commercial Rental basis copy of recording.

5. To Broadcast the Performance.

Author or performer has Moral Right available for his work even after assignment of work. Moral Rights are separate from Economic Rights.

Moral Rights means author or performer has right to take action and claim damages against any person for distortion, mutilation, modification or other acts in relation to work.

Performer of work has Moral Right where distortion, mutilation, modification or other acts in relation to work prejudicial to his reputation.

TERM OF COPYRIGHT (Section 22-29)

IN CASE OF PUBLISHED LITERARY, DRAMATIC, MUSICAL AND ARTISTIC WORKS:

(SECTION 22)

In general the term of Copyright is throughout the Lifetime of the author plus next 60 CALENDAR YEARS from the year in which the author dies.

In case of Joint authorship, author who dies last will be considered.

TENURE = LIFE OF AUTHOR + C.Y. OF HIS DEATH + 60 C.Ys.

TERM OF COPYRIGHT IN CASE OF ANONYMOUS AND PSEUDONYMOUS WORKS:

(SECTION 23)

In case of anonymous (without disclosure the name), and Pseudonymous (under assumed name) work, the term Copyright is 60 YEARS from the Calendar year in which the work is published.

However if identity of the author is disclosed before the expiry of the said period, Copyright shall subsist until 60 Years from the beginning of the CY next following the year in which the author dies.

TENURE = C.Y OF FIRST PUBLICATION OF WORK + 60 C.Ys.

TERM OF COPYRIGHT IN POSTHUMOUS WORK:

(SECTION 24)

In case of Posthumous work (published after the death of author) Copyright subsist for 60 Year from the beginning of Calendar Year next to the year in which work is first published.

TENURE = C.Y OF FIRST PUBLICATION OF WORK + 60 C.Ys.

REGISTRATION OF COPYRIGHT:

Registration of Copyright is Optional and not mandatory.

CONCLUSION:

The Copyright Act, 1957 governs the subject of Copyright law in India. The Act is applicable from 21 January 1958.

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