Copyright Act - Amedments, rights of the owner, infringement and punishment

Copyright Act - Amedments, rights of the owner, infringement and punishment

Write a short note on the Coyright Law. What is Copyright Infringement and what punishments can be granted for violating the law.

Copyright – It is an exclusive legal right which is given to the originator, for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film or record literary, artistic or musical material. The copyright extends to illustrations, motion pictures, graphics and sculptures.

Copyright Act– The Copyright Act, 1957 came into effect in January, 1958. The act has been amended five times since i.e. in 1983, 1984, 1992, 1994, 1999 and in 2002.

The main aim of the Copyright Act is to promote the growth of arts and science by protecting the exclusive rights of the creators.

Why was the Copyright Act 1957 amended ?

The Copyright Act, 1957 was amended for the following reasons:

- to bring the act in cooperation with WCT and WPPT

- to protect the music and film industries and to address its concerns

- to protect the interests of authors of any work

Important amendments in the Copyright Act, 2012:

- the extension of copyright protection to the digital environment

- ensuring the right to secure royalty for the authors

- exclusive economic and moral rights for the performers

- equal membership right in copyright societies for authors.

What rights does Copyright Act confer upon the owner?

The Copyright Act confers two rights on the owner:

- economic rights
- moral rights

Economic rights

- Copyright exists for the original dramatic, musical, artistic works, films and sound recordings.

- Authors of these works enjoy copyright under Article 14 of the Act.

- The right allows the reproduction of a work in any material form including its
storage of the material in any medium through electronic means.

- It can be used to issue copies of the work to the public, to perform the work in public, to communicate it to the public, to make cinematographs, film or sound recordings in respect of the work and to make translation of the work.

- These rights are equally available to the authors of sound recordings.

- The first owner of the copyright (author of a painting, drawing or a manuscript of literary or musical work) shall be entitled to have the right to share it in the resale price of the original copy. The resale price should be more than ? 10,000.

Moral rights

Section 5 of the article defines moral rights of an author as right of paternity and right of integrity

- Right of Paternity – It is the right of an author to claim the ownership of his/her work.

- Right of Integrity – This right empowers the author to prevent damage or any other changes to his work which would spoil his reputation.

What is Copyright Infringement? What punishments can be awarded for violating Copyright law?

Copyright Infringement

It is the use of works protected by the copyright law without a proper consent. It occurs when a person other than the copyright holder copies the contents of a work or a work as a whole.

Exceptions to the copyright rule:

Two exceptions to the copyright infringement rules are:

- Fair use– It permits the reproduction of any copyrighted material for a limited purpose, e.g. for teaching.

- Public sphere– It refers to works that are no longer under the copyright act.


People who violate the rules of the Act were charged with a fine of ? 200,000 and three years of imprisonment.

The Indian Copyright Law provides an exclusive right to the life of creators.

- The law provides the right to the authors to sue any infringer.

- The author is given a catalog which states that his/her work is copyrighted.

- The law prevents a creator's work from any sort of damage.

Is it right to imitate the voice of famous personalities for commercial purposes?

No, it is not right to imitate the voice of famous personalities for commercial purposes. This is equal to violating the rights of copyright. For example, Hollywood actress Audrey Hepburn sued a fishing company that imitated her voice in a radio commercial.

Digital privacy

Digital privacy refers to the protection of information of people on the Internet. The biggest victim is the content owner who loses his/her content, as the cost of content production has become dreadfully low.


All copyright related laws are governed by the Copyright Act of 1957. Today, the act is amendable with most of the international conventions and treaties that exist in the field of copyright.

Copyright violation has been growing more and more intense in India since decades. A strong warning through advertisements by the media would bring about necessary caution among the violators.
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