: Copyright infringement is a criminal offense in India. The minimum penalty forknowingly infringing upon a copyright is six months in jail which may extend to up to 3years and a fine of 50,000 rupees, which may extend up to 2 lakh rupees. Provided that thecourt may, for adequate and special reasons to be mentioned in the judgment, impose asentence of imprisonment for a term of less than six months or a fine of less than fiftythousand.
The Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2012:
The Copyright (Amendment) Bill 2012 has been passed by both Houses of Parliament, andwill become law as soon as the President gives her assent and it is published in the Gazette of India. According to this:
No alterations are allowed from the original song, and alteration is qualified as
„alteration in the literary or musical work‟. So no imaginative covers in which the
lyrics are changed or in which the music is reworked are allowed without the
copyright owners‟ permission. Only note
-for-note and word-for-word covers areallowed.
Music and movie companies have rights to place digital locks, and under some limitedcircumstances users have the right to break them. But if the locks are difficult tobreak, the users have no choice but to live with the lock, despite having a legal right.
Copyright Infringement Cases
“Napster” was an online music trading website which came into
existence around early 1999 by Shawn Fanning. It was created for the sole reason of difficulty in finding necessary MP3 files in those days. It included three functions -search engine, file sharing (the ability to trade MP3 files directly, without having touse a centralized server for storage), and an Internet Relay Chat (IRC), which was ameans of finding and chatting with other MP3 users while online. Later it becamequite popular among college students with access to high-speed internet connections.However in April 2000, the heavy metal rock group Metallica sued Napster forcopyright infringement. Metallica also included several universities in their suitclaiming that they v
iolated Metallica‟s music copyrights by allowing their students to