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A copyright is a form of intellectual property that gives the creator of a literary, artistic, musical or other creative work the sole right to publish and sell that work. Copyright owners have the right to control the reproduction of their work, including the right to receive payment for that reproduction. An author may grant or sell those rights to others, including publishers or recording companies. This article includes the history of the Copyright Act, 1957 and the subject matter, offices for the copyright.
The History of copyright law in India commenced in the Pre- Independence era during the regime of the East India Company. The very first Copyright act of India was enacted in 1847 under the British Rule. As per the act, the term of copyright was either, for the lifetime of author plus 7 years or 42 years. But soon this act was replaced by the copyright act of 1914. This act was the first ‘modern’ copyright law for India as it included all arts and literature work under the ambit of copyright. Although, post-independence, The Copyright Act, 1957 came into force replacing the act of 1911. This piece of legislation helped in detail evolution and efficient management of copyright law in India by introducing Offices and registrars. The Copyright Act , 1957 came into force on 21st January 1958 and is the present copyright law governing artistic and literary work in India.
Meaning of Copyright
The Black’s law dictionary states – “The right of literary property as recognized and sanctioned by positive law. An intangible, incorporeal right granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions, whereby he is invested, for a limited period, with the sole and exclusive privilege of multiplying copies of the same and publishing and selling them. International copyright is the right of a subject of one country to protection against the republication in another country of a work which he originally published in his own country.”
The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 also states the meaning of Copyright under Section 14. According to Section 14 “copyright” means the exclusive right to do or authorise to reproduce, issue copies, perform, translate, sell, commercialise and any other act as mentioned in the provision is respect of artistic or literary work.
Subject Matter of Copyright
The subject matter of Copyright is mentioned under Section 13 of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957. According to Section 13 of The Copyright Act 1957, the following are included as subject matter of copyright –
- Original Literary Work,
- Original Dramatic work,
- Original Musical work,
- Original Artistic Work,
- Cinematography films, and
- Sound recordings.
Ownership of Copyright
First owner of Copyright
Usually the person who creates (author) an artistic or literary work using his intellect is the prime owner/first owner of the work. First owner of different copyright works are stated in Section 17 of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 –
- In the case of literary works the author is the first owner of the work.
- In the case of dramatic, artistic or any musical work the author is the 1st owner of that piece of work.
- In cases of sculptures, paintings, drawings the creator is the first owner of that work.
- In the case of cinematography, the producer is the 1st owner of the work.
- In the case of sound recording the producer is be the owner.
but in certain special cases the creator may not be the prime owner of the work. The circumstances are –
- If work is done by any person under a contract then the owner of the work will be according to the terms of the contract.
- If work is created by an employee during the course of employment then the employer is the first owner of the work.
- in case of a Government work, Government is the first owner of the copyright.
- in case of a work made or first published by or under the direction or control of any public undertaking, such public undertaking is the first owner of the copyright therein.
Copyright Office and Appellate board
- The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 makes it compulsory to have a copyright office. Section 9 of the Act establishes Copyright Office.
- The copyright office is controlled by the registrar of copyright which is appointed by the Central government.
- The deputy registrar works under the guidance of the Registrar of Copyrights and is also appointed by the Central Government.
- The Appellate Board established under section 83 of the Trade Marks Act, 1999 (47 of 1999) is the Appellate Board for the purposes of the Indian Copyright Act, 1957 and the said Appellate Board exercises the jurisdiction, powers and authority conferred on it under the Act.
- The copyright office is located at IPO (Intellectual Property Office), Plot No. 32, Sector 14, Dwarka, Delhi, 110075 from G-30, August Kranti Bhawan, Bhikaji Cama Place, New Delhi, 110066.