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COPYRIGHTS According to The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a ―Copyright is a legal term describing rights given to creators

for their literary and artistic works.‖1 It further says that the works covered by copyrights are ―literary works such as novels, poems, plays, reference works, newspapers and computer programs; databases; films, musical compositions, and choreography; artistic works such as paintings, drawings, photographs and sculpture; architecture; and advertisements, maps and technical drawings.‖2 o Copyright law is a branch of that part of the law, which deals with the rights of intellectual creators. o Copyright law deals with particular forms of creativity, concerned primarily with mass communication. o Copyright law, however, protects only the form of expression of ideas, not the ideas themselves. So what copyrights actually protects is creative works which can be clothing patterns, labels and fabrics in a material form which is the original work of the author and place of publication. Copyright confers this right to the author by giving him the right to reproduction and copying, adaptation, distribution and communication of his original work for 70 years after the death of the author or 50 years after the recording is done (UK and Europe). Copyright literally means right to copy.3 According to copyright law mere ideas are not protected, but the ways in which it is expressed are protected. According to the ―Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988‖: 1) Copyright and copyright works (1)Copyright is a property right, which subsists in accordance with this Part in the following descriptions of work— (a) original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works, (b) sound recordings, films or broadcasts, and 3
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which is covered by the act as regards protection of copyright. (c) In case it is not covered by (a) or (b) above. Christie & S.(c) the typographical arrangement of published editions (2)In this Part ―copyright work‖ means a work of any of those descriptions in which copyright subsists. If an author has written a book named Oliver then a filmmaker is not allowed to make a film with the same story as this right is only with the writer and the filmmaker shall procure right before remaking the book into a movie from the original author.4 CRITERIA FOR PROTECTION OF COPYRIGHT Under the Indian law one or more of the following conditions should be satisfied by the work under consideration to qualify for copyright protection: (a) It should be original. dramatic musical work or cinematograph film or sound recording. OBJECT OF COPYRIGHT LAW The foundation of Copyright law is that. It is interesting to note that the exploitation of a work is actually done by entrepreneurs like publishers. The law also prevents others from exercising any other form of right attached to copyright for example right of making a dramatic version. what has been produced by the 1) Labour. (b) It should be literary. Blackstone’s Statutes on Intellectual Property (10th Edition. 1911. cinematograph version. Gare. (3)Copyright does not subsist in a work unless the requirements of this Part with respect to qualification for copyright protection are met (see section 153 and the provisions referred to there). Oxford University Press. 2) Skill and 3) Capital of another. or sound recording producers to whom A. film producers. it should be a work of an organisation declared by Central Government as an International Organisation under section 41 or. translation. (e) It should be a work. (d) In case of design. New York 2010) 4 . adaptation or abridgement. the law does not permit one to appropriate to him. one covered under section 40 if it is a foreign work. The object of this law is to protect the author of a work from a 1) unlawful reproduction or 2) exploitation of his work by other. it should not be registered under Design Act.

1957 In Eastern Book Co. B. with the expression of thought in print or writing. in Infoseek Solutions and Another v. . the apex court observed that so far as the reporting of a judgment was concerned there could be no copyright in it. In such a case if there is no legal protection for the copyright for a particular period then no entrepreneur will undertake publication of books or production of sound recordings or films. D.‖ Though there can be no copyright in the reproduction of the judgment of a Court. V.). held that the copyright of the reporter extended to a report of the judgment which may include.) it was held that in case law reports the copyright subsists in head notes.the owner of the copyright assigns or licences the particular rights. Peterson J said: ―The word ―original‖ does not in this connection mean that the work must be the expression of original or inventive thought. & others v. Navin J. It was held to be a literary work under Section 13(1)(a) of the Indian Copyright Act. University Tutorials Press (1916) 2 Ch. Modak and another. However. Recently. in the case of ―literary work‖. Copyright Acts are not concerned with the originality of ideas but with the expression of thought. The question as to what is original was answered in the case of University of London Press Ltd. v. had induced the element of originality to the reports published by the appellants. and. besides head-notes the editorial notes. in the opinion of the Court. Kerala Law Times and Others 2007 (34) PTC 231 (Ker. editorial notes etc. the entire text of the judgment. 601. a single judge bench of Kerala High Court had. In Eastern Book Co. the Court held the defendant guilty of infringement of the appellant‘s copyright because the latter had made new paragraphs and added their own notes to the judgments before reporting which. The originality which is required relates to the expression of the thought. where the appellants were bringing out reports of the apex court entitled ‗Supreme Court Cases‘ and the defendants had verbatim copied the same for their CDROM ‗The Laws‘. the situation is otherwise when some notes are added to it and paragraphs are made in the process of reporting. WHAT IS ORIGINAL? Originality is defined as ―the ability of thinking independently and creatively‖. Desai and Others 2001 PTC (21) 243 (Del.

the plaintiffs claimed that the information they had published in their ‗Lite Blue Diary for 1933‘ had been copied by the defendants in their diary ‗Survey Lightweight Diary 1942‘. looking through the respondents‘ collection of tables. and. University Tutorials Press. Broome J of Allahabad High Court made these remarks in Agarwala Publishing House. Exxon Insurance Consultants. I have difficulty in seeing hoe such tables in the combination in which they appear in the respondent‘s 1933 diary. Smythson. In Cramp v. W. the Court of Appeal declined to recognise plaintiffs‘ copyright in the word ‗Exxon‘ which the court felt was ―simply an artificial combination of four letters of alphabet which serves a purpose only when it is used in juxtaposition with other English words. NO COPYRIGHT IN A WORD In Exxon Corporation v. Thus question papers are ‗original literary works‘ within the meaning of Section 13and copyright can be claimed in respect of them. when it held that the examination papers were original and literary work for the purposes of the Indian Copyright Act. The House of Lord rejected their claim and said : ‗…but the bundle of information furnished in the respondents‘ diary is commonplace information which is ordinarily useful (and) is…commonly found prefixed to diaries. The word ‗original‘ in Section 13 does not imply any originality of ideas but merely means that the work in question should not be copied from some other work and should originate in the author. Khurja v.‖ COMMONPLACE INFORMATION NOT COPYRIGHTABLE There is no copyright in a work that is taken out of commonplace information.EXAMINATION PAPERS ARE ORIGINAL LITERARY WORKS The High Court of Allahabad in 1967 made an observation similar to that in the University of London Press Ltd. being the product of his labour and skill. to identify one or other of the companies in the plaintiff group‖ . can reasonably claim to be ―original work‖. Board of High School and Intermediate Education. 1957. v. He said: ―The words ‗literary works‘ in Section 13 are not confined to works of literature in the commonly understood sense but include all work expressed in writing whether they have any literary merit or not.

in Walter v. and this expression has not been copied from any existing work. Roberton v.e.) did require that the work be ‗original‘ in order to be copyrightable. He said: ―There (i. where the plaintiff and defendant broadcast similar shows with the similar title ―opportunity knocks‖. and many of those who sung or piped it may have written down the notes either to aid their own memories or to enable them to teach it to others. George Wiedenfeld &Nicolson. Lewis) no one knows who the author of the tune was but in the long period of time which must have elapsed since it first came into existence it must have been sung or piped on innumerable occasions. In this case (i.K. Lane and said that the law under Copyright Act. This copyright will give the author a material right over his creative expression and through this right he can control the ways in which his work can be used.e. Lewis. the House of Lords held that no copyright had been infringed because the plaintiff could not prove that ‗any part of the show was reduced to a written text which could properly be called a script‘. This means if he fixes any creative expression in a tangible medium. Broadcasting Corporation of New Zealand. the Court turned down the man‘s claim for joint authorship because the Court found the he ‗virtually took no part in writing any single line of the dialogue‘.NO COPYRIGHT IF MATTER NOT IN A SCRIPT FORM In Green v. Lane) the short hand writers took down the words of speeches from the lips of a speaker who had not previously reduced his words into writing. 1842 which was applied to that case did not provide that in order to be entitled to copyright a work must be ‗original‘ whereas the Act of 1911 and Act of 1956 (in U. Cross J distinguished it from the decision in Walter v. In Wiseman v. NO COPYRIGHT IN A FOLK SONG In Roberton v. it was held that nobody could claim a copyright in the tune of a folk song. where a man had helped an author in converting the latter‘s novel into a play. . then he has created a set of right in that expression and this right is called copyright.‖ 2) Author of a work means the person who has actually created that work.

First owner of copyright – Subject to the provisions of this Act. (b) subject to the provisions of clause (a). for the purpose of publication in a newspaper. (c) in the case of a work made in the course of the author s employment under a contract of service or apprenticeship. such person shall. (iii) in relation to an artistic work other than a photograph. magazine or similar periodical.In this Act. dramatic or artistic work made by the author in the course of his employment by the proprietor of a newspaper. and (vi) in relation to [any literary. or an engraving or a cinematograph film made. the person taking the photograph. for valuable consideration at the instance of any person. 2. be the first owner of the copyright therein. or to the reproduction of the work for the purpose of its being so published. (iv) in relation to a photograph. the artist. unless the context otherwise requires: (d) "author‘ means: (i) in relation to a literary or dramatic work. the composer. in the absence of any agreement to the contrary. in the absence of any agreement to the contrary. (v) in relation to a cinematograph or sound recording the producer. Interpretation. the author of a work shall be the first owner of the copyright therein provided that(a) in the case of a literary. or a painting or portrait drawn. . the author of the work. dramatic. magazine or similar periodical under a contract of service or apprenticeship.AUTHOR AND OWNERSHIP OF COPYRIGHT Statutory Provisions – Section 2(d) and 17 of the Act. magazine or similar periodical. but in all other respects the author shall be the first owner of the copyright in the work. the person who causes the work to be created] 17. the said proprietor shall. (ii) in relation to a musical work. . be the first owner of the copyright in the work in so far as the copyright relates to the publication of the work in any newspaper. in the case of a photograph taken. musical or artistic work which is computergenerated. to which clause (a) or clause (b) does not apply.

the person on whose behalf such address or speech is delivered.the employer shall. NO COPYRIGHT IN WORK DONE DURING COURSE OF EMPLOYMENT In A & M records Ltd. or. Provincial or State Act.. in the absence of any agreement to the contrary. Graham Pullen.] (d) in the case of a Government work. as the case may be. in the absence of any agreement to the contrary. the international organisation concerned shall be the first owner of the copyright therein. such other person shall be the first owner of the copyright therein notwithstanding that the person who delivers such address or speech. is employed by any other person who arranges such address or speech or on whose behalf or premises such address or speech is delivered. or (iii) a body corporate established by or under any Central. Explanation. or (ii) a Government company as defined in section 617 of the Companies Act. be the first owner of the copyright therein. v. the person who has delivered such address or speech or if such person has delivered such address or speech on behalf of any other person. be the first owner of the copyright therein. an agent of Inside Edge – the service company of well known skaters Torvill and Dean who wanted two tunes recorded for use with their ice dance routines – employed a . in the absence of any agreement to the contrary. Video Collection International Ltd. [(cc) in the case of any address or speech delivered in public.For the purposes of this clause and section 28A.. 1956. Government shall.] (f) in the case of a work to which the provisions of section 41 apply. "public undertaking" means(i) an undertaking owned or controlled by Government. be the first owner of the copyright therein. such public undertaking shall. [(dd) in the case of a work made or first published by or under the direction or control of any public undertaking.

and Ross in turn employed a freelance arranger. and others. If the work is computer generated then it is 50 years. Cyril Payne. The only hindrance in case of claiming the ownership of an unregistered copyright is that the owner has to prove that the infringer had the access to the original work of the author or there was a scope that the work could have been accessible to the infringer. George Wiedenfeld & Nicolson with Najma Heptulla v. or artistic works a copyright expires at the end of the period of 70 years from end of the calendar year in which the author dies. and licenced the defendants to sell videos of it. There are certain instances where the employee can claim copyright in a work during the course of employment viz works other than one related to the nature of employment shall vest in the employee rather than the employer. But even if someone copies the work of that poet before the poem has been registered the poet still has right to claim for his copyright. for a poet the copyright over that poem will start as soon as he has written down that poem in a tangible medium i. Compare the case of Wiseman v. films.conductor Mr Ross to produce suitable renderings of two tunes. 3) Duration of a copyright is the time period for which the copyright subsists on the owner. . and further guarantees the right to the rightful owner. Orient Longman Ltd. to assist him. A copyright registration is necessary so that it can identify the creator of that work in case there is some conflict of interest in that subject matter.e. It starts as soon as the above mentioned literary works are fixed into a tangible medium e. M/s. In a dispute on who owned the copyright the Court decided in favour of the Inside Edge because Mr Ross had been employed for the purpose by it and hence. dramatic.g. musical. a piece of paper and not when he has actually registered or published his poem. o In UK for literary. he could not be held as owner of the copyright since he was not ‗author‘ of the sound recording made for the Inside Edge. The British Broadcasting Corporation relayed and recorded one of Torvill and Dean‘s performances where these two tunes were used.

. o In India 60 years after the death of the author.For sound recordings and broadcasts it is for the period of 50 years from the end of the calendar year in which the recording or broadcast was done. o In case of joint authorship 60 years after the death of last author o For orphan works 60 years after the death if the identity is disclosed else 60 years from publication. o In USA the copyright in a work is for a period of 70 years after the death of the author.