A copyright is an identity of any created work as an intellectual property that gives the creators of a work, exclusive rights to decide or regulate, who and under what conditions can copy and be used as an ingenious work. It is crucial to note that the copyright does not protect the idea but the “expression of an idea”. While retaining the essential emphasis on the acknowledgment and protection of the origins and expression of the thought , copyright laws differ regionally and consistent with varying national laws. The copyright is taken into account as a basic tool towards protecting intellectual and artistic property. However, as stated by the Delhi supreme court in 2016, it’s not a way of restricting the circulation of culturally and intellectually significant work. Rather, copyright laws plan to ensure fair practices within the production of creative work.


In India, the Copyright Act 1957 applicable from 21st January, 1958 is that the central governing mechanism for copyright law in India. Like in other countries, the copyright law in India is loosely defined as a group of legislation given to creators of literary, musical, artistic, cinematic and dramatic works. The copyright laws provide guidelines regarding the laws under which any work are often reproduced, exhibited and adapted from. The general time-frame globally, within which a copyright is applicable ranges from 50-100 years. In India, while all literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works have copyright periods that are the sum of the lifetime of the author and therefore the 60 years since his/her death, other forms of creative work including anonymous work, sound records, photographs etc. have copyright periods of 60 years since the general public action of the add the public domain. In what has become referred to as the “first copyright case in India”, the style designer Ms. Ritu Kumar accused 7 boutiques in Kolkata in 1999, of plagiarizing her designs. After a lengthy but successful battle lasting almost 7 years, Ms. Ritu Kumar managed to guard her property through the supply of copyright laws.


Protection of Work: A copyright offers the essential legal protection for a piece by functioning as evidence of ownership over a piece in any court of law. While copyright doesn’t restrict the fair circulation of the work, it offers legal protection to the author, owner, creator or publisher.

Branding: A copyright also offers legitimacy and promotion for an ingenious work. A copyright also reflects a way of ownership and investment in one’s work and this is often important when attempting to exhibit, advertise or sell one’s work.

International Protection: Copyright offers protection to any intellectual and creative work across the world, since a copyrighted work retains its copyright status anywhere in the world.

Curbing Unauthorized Copy: Copyright registration ensures that the work can’t be published and circulated legally, without the owner’s prior consent and permission.

The Creation of an Intellectual Asset: A copyright essentially renders a piece as property and an untouchable asset.


Right to reproduce

The Copyright Act mandates that no individual can make copies of or reproduce a protected work, partially or whole, without permission from the copyright owner. Thus, it restricts copying a song, any sound, or any kind of video during a recording device.

Right to Communicate to the Public

The Act gives exclusive rights to the copyright owners to broadcast their original work to the general public. They can do that by wireless diffusion in any sort of visual images or signs.

Right of Distribution

The Copyright Act provides exclusive rights on the copyright holder to distribute his work in whatever form he likes (through selling, reproducing, leasing, lending or renting). If he wishes, he also can transfer certain rights to a different person to use the copyright partially or whole, subject-specific limitations.

Right of Public Performance

The Act gives exclusive rights to the owners of artistic and musical work to perform their works publicly. An actor can make a public performance in any of his plays. A musician can play his piece of original music for the masses. Similarly, artists can broadcast their performances publicly on any platform they have.

The Copyright Act, 1957 prevents unauthorized use of any original literary, musical, dramatic, sound recordings, cinematograph and other artistic works. Both published and unpublished works can be copyrighted, and the copyright of the original work is reserved for the original creator. Copyright can also be registered for works that were published before 21st January 1958, that is before the Copyright Act came into existence.

Copyright protection of original literary, musical, dramatic, and artistic works lasts for the whole lifetime of the author. In addition, it also for another 60 years counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case of sound recordings, cinematograph films, photographs, posthumous publications (published post the death of the author), anonymous and pseudonymous publications, government works and works of international organizations.

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