Copyright Act – 1957

Copyright Act states that a work shall be published or performed in public, only

with the license of the owner of the copyright. In the case of a work of joint authorship, the conditions conferring copyright specified in this sub-section shall be satisfied by all the authors of the work.Copyright is defined as the exclusive right:

(a) in the case of a literary, dramatic or musical work,

· to reproduce the work in any medium

· to issue copies

· to perform in public

· to translate;

· to adapt;

(b) in the case of a computer programme,-

· to do any of the acts specified in clause (a)

· to sell or rent

(c) in the case of an artistic work,-

· to do any of the acts specified in clause (a)

· to reproduce the work in different dimensions

(d) in the case of a cinematograph film,-

· to make photographs from the original

· to sell or rent

· to communicate the film to the public;

(e) in the case of a sound recording-

· to make any other sound recording embodying it;

· to sell or rent

· to communicate the sound recording to the public.

Ownership of the Copyright (Ch IV. 17-21)

The author of a work has the right to claim authorship of the work and to restrain or claim

damages in respect of any distortion, mutilation, modification or other acts in relation to the said work which is done before the expiration of the term of copyright if such distortion, mutilation, modification or other act would be prejudicial to his honour or reputation. Moral rights are available to the authors even after the economic rights are assigned.

The author of a speech is the one generally who delivers it except when the speech is given on behalf of someone. For example B writes a speech for A. Since A cannot give it personally C delivers it. The author of the speech is Mr. A.

The owner may assign anyone or any organization the copyright partially or wholly, the full or part term, with the territorial extent. The assignment of copyright in any work shall also specify the amount of royalty payable, if any, to the author or his legal heirs during the currency of the assignment and the assignment shall be subject to revision, extension or termination on terms mutually agreed upon by the parties. If no specifics are mentioned in the terms, the copyright is understood to be given for five years and within India.

The Copyright Board may cancel an agreement, if there is a complaint from the original author, and it is proven that the person who has the copyright has not exercised the rights and broke the terms.

The author of a work may relinquish all or any of the rights comprised in the copyright in the

work by giving notice in the prescribed form to the Registrar of Copyrights.

The owner of the copyright shall have a resale share right, a percentage fixed either by the

parties involved or by the Copyright Board.

Criteria for Getting a Copyright in India

In order to qualify for copyright the works, apart from being original, should also satisfy the following conditions, (except in the case of foreign works.):

  1. The work is first published in India.
  2. Where the work is first published outside India the author, at the date of publication

must be a citizen of India. If the publication was made after the author’s death the

author must have been at the time of his death a citizen of India.

  • In the case of unpublished work the author is on the date of making of the work a

citizen of India or domiciled in India.

  • In the case of an architectural work of art, the work is located in India.