Copyright is an Intellectual Property Rights than is granted to the owner of such intellectual property. This Intellectual Property Rights is an exclusive right of the owner and can only be exercised by him/her. Further, section this copyright can also be enjoyed by other individual if he/she is authorized by the owner of copyright to do so as per section 14 of the Copyright Act, 1957. In the form of assignment and licensing owner authorized other individuals to enjoy exclusive rights of the owner.
Copyright assignment is the right or the owner of copyright to transfer the ownership of copyright to another person. Section 18 of the Copyright Act says that an owner of a copyright of an existing work can assign the ownership of copyright to another person. It also says that an prospective owner of a copyright in a future work can asks assign the ownership, but the assignment comes into force only when the work comes to existence. This assignment can be done either wholly that means owner can assign all the rights given in section 14 of the act or partially that means assign only one or few rights. For example, assign the right to make cinematograph film only and retain all other with him. This assignment can be done generally that is without any conditions or can be also done subject to some limitations. The assignment can be for the whole term or any part. Also, with regard to the mode of exploitation, the assignment shall not apply to any mode of exploitation which did not exist or was not in commercial use when the assignment was made to the assignee.
Once the assignment is made the assignee becomes the owner of the right which are assigned to him and not with regard to all the rights as mentioned in sec 14. The assignor shall remain the owner of the rights not assigned to assignee. The mode of assignment is referred in section 19 of the act, which states that the assignment is only valid when the contract for assignment is made in writing and signed by the assignor or his authorized agent. The section also laid down that assignment in a work which is contrary to the terms and conditions of the rights already assigned to a copyright society to which the author is a member, such assignment will be void. There exist a right to the author to claim equal share of the royalty so the assignment of copyright doe cinematograph film or sound recording shall not affect this right of the author. Section 19 also states that the contract of assignment should specify the right assigned, duration of assignment, its territorial extent, the amount of royalty to be received and subjects to revision, extension or termination on terms mutually agreed by the parties.
Assignment and Licensing Difference
The assignment of a copyright and the licensing of the copyright are two different things. In assignment of the copyright refers the transfer of the ownership of the right and the assignee becomes the owner in this case but in licensing only a particular right is grated to do something and not the ownership of the right and the licensee is not the owner of that right. For example, owner of copyright can license the translation of his book into Marathi language to a person and at the same time can grant for translation of his work into another language to another person. But, in assignment of copyright he cannot assign the same right to two person because he transfers his ownership in this case.