Copyright Infringement in India

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Intellectual Property Rights are legal rights granted to an individual for his work that features his invention of creative designs, literary works, symbols, or phrases for a set duration of your time. Copyright is one of the material possession Rights.

What is Copyright?

Copyright could be a right that the law gives to the creator or owner of any literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic work and also the work of producers within the style of cinematograph films and sound recordings.

The owners of the copyright have certain exclusive rights which enable them to use their property without disturbance and to stop the misuse of their property. Copyright comes with a bundle of rights that include rights of reproduction, communication to the general public, adaptation, and translation of the work.

The term ‘copyright’ isn't defined within the Copyright Act, 1957, and in general terms, it means the “right to copy” is obtainable only at the discretion of the owner. Originality and not novelty is that the key to assigning copyright. It exists only on expression and not on ideas.

Under Section 13 of the Copyright Act, 1957, copyright exists within the following works:

  • Literary work (including computer programs, tables, and compilations including computer literary databases) 
  • Dramatic work
  • Musical work
  • Artistic work
  • Cinematograph films 
  • Sound recordings

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Importance of Copyright

  • Protects the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding their creativity.
  • Creativity and progress go hand in hand, therefore, no civil society can exist without copyright protection and hence, the work of an author is protected. 
  • It motivates the owner et al. and induces them to make more and thereby creates an environment inclusive of creativity.
  • Strikes a balance between the rights of the owner moreover because of the society.

Rights of a Copyright Owner

A copyright owner is entitled to the subsequent rights-

  • Produce their add public
  • Publish their work
  • Perform their add public
  • Translate their work
  • Make any cinematograph film or a record of their work
  • Broadcast their work
  • Make an adaptation of their work
  • Make copies of their work and distribute them
  • Make derivatives of their work 
  • Prevent others from making unauthorized use of copyrighted work

The term copyright just in case of literary, dramatic, musical, or artistic works is the lifetime of the author while for cinematograph films, records, photographs, posthumous publications, etc., the term exists for sixty years from the date of publication. just in the case of broadcasting, copyright exists for twenty-five years from the year during which the printed was made.

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Meaning of infringement

Use of any copyrighted work without the permission of the owner amounts to a violation. Infringement occurs when someone intentionally or unintentionally copies/uses the work of another without credit. Infringement is sometimes classified into two categories- primary infringement and secondary infringement.

Primary infringement is the actual act of copying, while secondary infringement includes unauthorized dealings like selling the pirated books, importing, etc. within the case of secondary infringement, knowledge of infringement is present with the infringer while within the case of primary infringement, knowledge may or might not be present.

When does infringement occur?

In India, infringement of copyright occurs when-

  • Copies of copyrighted work are made for sale/hire without permission or authority, like in the case of online piracy
  • A copyrighted work is performed in a public place
  • Infringing copies are distributed for the aim of trade and private gains
  • Public exhibition of infringing copies by way of trade prejudicial to the owner
  • Infringing copies are imported from another country into India

What doesn't amount to infringement?

There are certain acts that don't amount to a violation. However, there are some conditions that have got to be fulfilled to confirm that violation has not occurred. These conditions include the utilization of a copyrighted work for research, study, criticism, review, news reporting, use in a library, schools, and legislation. Such uses of copyrighted work are permitted without the necessity to get permission from the copyright owner.

Other acts that don't amount to infringement in India are: 

Fair use: a vital defense against infringement, defined under Section 53 of the Copyright Act. The burden of proof of an act of infringement of copyright is on the owner

Connected proceedings

Performance by an amateur club or society, if the performance is ahead of a non-paying audience

Making sound recordings of literary, dramatic, or musical works under certain conditions

Actions against infringement

The key requirements for taking an action against infringement of copyright include:

  • Proof of ownership of copyright
  • The substantial similarity between the initial and also the infringed copy
  • Copying amounts to improper appropriation

The first thing to try and do is to send a legal notice for infringement to the person or entity guilty of copyright violation. within the case of online infringement, a takedown notice is also sent to the person or company involved. A copyright owner can take several actions against violation under the civil and criminal laws.

The civil actions against violation are given under Section 55 of the Copyright Act, 1957. Under a legal action against violation, the court can grant the subsequent reliefs: 

Interlocutory Injunction: it's the foremost important relief because it prevents the infringer from doing anything that amounts to infringement of copyright. 

Financial Relief: Under Section 55 and Section 58 of the Copyright Act, the copyright owner can claim three remedies- profits which lets the owner get the profits made through an unlawful act, actual damages and conversion damages calculated in keeping with the worth of the infringing article.

Anton Pillar Order: It restrains the infringer from dealing in infringing goods or destroying them. It also allows the copyright owner and his lawyer to enter and search the premises of the infringer and take goods into safe custody. Under this order, the infringer is required to disclose the names of all the suppliers and customers of infringing goods.

Mareva Injunction: it's an order under which the court gets temporary custody of infringing goods, thereby preventing any chances of disposal. 

Norwich Pharmacal Order: it's passed to get information from a 3rd party.

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What happens if you Infringe a Copyright?

Under the Copyright Act, 1957, criminal action against violation may also be taken. The person found guilty of infringement of copyright would be answerable for punishment for imprisonment for not but 6 months and up to three years, or a fine of a minimum of Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 2 lakhs. 

Under the criminal action taken against violation, a pursuit and seizure of infringing goods can also be ordered by the court and therefore the infringing goods could also be delivered to the particular copyright owner. To file a case against violation, find a lawyer to fight your case from our list of top copyright lawyers.

How to Avoid Copyright Infringement?

Here are some tips from the most effective copyright lawyers to avoid copyright infringement:

If you're not using an imaginative literary, artistic or musical work, it's important to test all the licenses and permissions. Many copyright owners allow their work to be used without the requirement for direct permission, whereas, most copyright owners allow the employment of their work only after you obtain a license or permission from them.

Make sure that you just use a copyrighted work under the ‘fair use policy for educational or research purposes. 

When getting a copyright for your work, consult a copyright lawyer to create sure that you just don't seem to be infringing an already existing work.

Awareness about violations and copyright laws is vital in an exceedingly developing society, as creativity is an essence of growth. it's important to speak to a copyright lawyer at every stage of coping with copyrighted work. This includes assistance in filing a copyright application, addressing infringement, and defending the copyright.

1. What is the punishment for copyright infringement in India?
2. What Cannot be copyrighted in India?