When a person creates a unique product that product is viewed to be original. The unique creations including websites, computer software, musical lyrics, art, literature, poetry, graphic designs, musical compositions, novels, original architectural design, films, etc. Further, a copyright is a safeguard which protects an original work from getting duplicated. Concepts such as discoveries, slogans, brand names, logos, concepts, domain name, theories, and tiles are all excluded from the purview of copyright and falls under the category of trademarks and patents. For any speech, idea, discovery etc. to a copyright needs to be written down in a physical form. This concept helps the creators and the artist to work fearlessly and create original products, which are not subjected to replication by any other person.
Copyright in different fields-
I. Copyright in Literary work-
Literary works are protected by copyright as they are present in physical form. Literary works include books, magazines, newspapers, journals, anthologies, novels, computer software and programmes, letters, e-mails, poetry, lyrics of songs, tables and compilations. Literary works are not only confined to the above mentioned things but also abstracts, encyclopedia entries, dictionary meanings and individual poems are protected within the shield of copyright laws.
Duration of Copyright-
In case of a copyright pertaining to literary work both published and unpublished the creator/ author owns the copyright which extends to his lifetime plus 60 years after his death.
The author or the creator of a work is generally regarded as an owner of a work in case of literary works.
II. Copyright in dramatics-
Dramatics includes within itself dance, mime covering screenplays, ballets, operas etc. Copyright in the field of dramatic safeguards the creators, composers, choreographers, dramatists, poets, author and other from replication of their work.
The different types of published and unpublished work may be submitted for registration including pantomimes, treatments, plays, choreography and scripts prepared for radio, cinema and television. They may be with music or without music.
Usually, dramatic scripts are intended to be performed including spoken text, plot and direction of action etc. It however needs to be understood that all dramatic work cannot get a copyright. A few dramatic works are exception to it namely:
- Title or series of a programme.
- Copyright protects dramatic expressions of a creator but not the general idea of a work.
- Present work/ script can only be given copyright and not the future scripts/ works.
In order to get the copyright of a dramatic work, a copy of:
- Printed copy
- Film recording
- Video recording
Are treated as a physical script. The registration of the work gets effect on the day when all the above mentioned material is submitted in the Copyright Office in the prescribed format.
III. Copyright in Musical Work-
Musical work means a work which consists of music and for a work to be musical it requires a combination of graphical notations. However, it excludes any actions or words which are intended to be sung/ spoken with the music.
The author of the musical work is known as a composer. Composer is a person who composes the music irrespective of the fact that the music is recorded in any form of graphical notations or not.
Duration of copyright-
The copyright for the musical work extends to the lifetime of the author plus 60 years after the author dies. However in case of joint authorship the duration is counted after the death of the last author.
IV. Copyright in sound recordings-
Sound recordings which comprises of any person’s speech, song sung by any person with or without music, any audio or any podcast. The sound recordings are subjected to copyright.
The author of sound recording is known as producer. The producer of any sound has a right to register himself as the owner of that sound recording which is created by his intellect.
V. Copyright in cinematograph films-
Cinematograph films includes a plethora of activities namely:
- Any work of visual recording displayed on any medium from which any moving object can be visualised.
- Work involving sound recordings.
- Stages of protection of cinematography under copyright
Before any film is produced a humongous number of preparation is done which included casting and crewing, scripting, screenplay, shoot schedule, location, rehearsals etc. and here it needs a very strict rules and a legal backing so that nothing can be replicated.
Once the film is released it becomes the prime necessity to protect it from replication.
- Rights of the owner
- Reproduction right
- Distribution and rental rights
- Synchronisation rights
- Derivative working rights
- Broadcasting rights
- Right of adaptation and translation
- Display rights
Assignment and license under copyright-
Copyright is basically a personal property right, which is regulated by various rules and regulations governed by the state. These rules and regulations govern the ownership, inheritance and transfer of rights pertaining to copyright.
Further, the copyright holder has 2 ways in which he may transfer his copyright i.e through license or by assignment.
Assignment is also known as sale agreement for copyright wherein the owner of any work sell his right to any other person with the help of a contract. After the transfer of ownership the person giving copyright has no control over the fact that how the third party uses it. The person selling the copyright is called assignor and the person buying is known as assignee. Once a sale is completed the assignee is vested with all the rights and he may use that work in whatever manner he wishes to use it. For the assignment to be valid the contract must be written and signed by both parties, the subject of the assignment of copyright must be clear and without any ambiguity.
License under copyright rights means that the owner possesses or maintains his or her copyright ownership rights, however when he permits or allows another party to exercise some of those rights without the party’s actions being considered an infringement of copyright. The person giving license is referred to as ‘licensor’ and the person who is given the license is called ‘licensee’.
Usually, a license is more preferable than an assignment. This is because the copyright holder has the full right over his work and can exercise ownership control over the work whereas,, the licensee uses just a few rights given by the copyright holder.
Infringement of copyright-
Copyright right is considered to be infringed when someone uses the copyright protected work of the original owner of any work which may include a theme of a book, an article, the lyrics of a song, etc. without the owner’s permission. Moreover, if something is protected by copyright, it can not be generally legally made available to the public in any manner, whether digital or otherwise, without the permission of the person having copyright or body such as publication house or firm who holds it.
Remedies for the infringement of copyright-
There are basically 3 types of remedies available in the case of infringement of copyright:
Civil remedies include injunction, return of account of profit, and deliver the infringing copies of copyright work and conversion damages.
Criminal remedy includes imprisonment of the accused or fine or both.
Administrative remedies include moving to the Registrar of copyrights office to ask him to ban the import of infringing copies into India in case the infringement is through such importation and the infringing copies must be delivered to the owner of the copyright.