The Copyright Act of 1957 in India serves as a crucial legal framework for safeguarding the rights of creators and promoting the growth of creative industries.

Enacted with the objective of providing a robust foundation for copyright protection, the act plays a pivotal role in fostering a thriving ecosystem for artistic expression, innovation, and knowledge dissemination.

Understanding the objectives of the Copyright Act is essential to comprehending its significance in protecting and nurturing creative works.

This article revolves around the “objectives of Copyright Act 1957” and provides you with a meaningful insight into it.

From incentivising creative endeavors to striking a balance between the rights of creators and public access, we explore the multifaceted aims of the act.

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Meaning of Copyright

Copyright is a legal rule that gives creators ownership over their own creations.

The statement indicates that the creator of a work, such as a story, song, or picture, has the authority to determine its usage.

In the case of a written story, the author has the power to determine its potential for publication, sharing, or adaptation into a film.

Copyright helps protect your work from being used or copied without your permission, so you have control over what happens to your creation and can be recognised for your talent and hard work.

Objectives of Copyright Act 1957

The Copyright Act of 1957 in India is designed with two primary objectives:

Firstly, it aims to promote progress in science and useful art by rewarding authors for their creative efforts.

It grants authors the exclusive right to their expressive works, such as writings, songs, designs, and artworks, as well as film and sound recordings.

This protection encourages creators to invest their time, money, and talent in bringing their works to the public.

Secondly, copyright law allows for the free expansion of knowledge and ideas. It strikes a balance by permitting others to build upon the concepts and information presented in a copyrighted work.

Certain uses of copyrighted content are also allowed without the need for explicit permission.

The Copyright Act of 1957 specifies the scope of these acceptable uses.

The Act includes provisions that ensure a harmonious balance between the rights of copyright owners and the public interest.

It aims to benefit society as a whole while safeguarding the fruits of individuals’ efforts, labor, talent, or tests.

As highlighted in the Sulamangalam R. Jayalakshmi v. Meta Musicals case (2000), the purpose of copyright law is to protect creators’ creations from unauthorised appropriation by others.

Overall, copyright law seeks to encourage creativity, reward authors, and foster the expansion of knowledge while maintaining a fair and equitable balance between the rights of creators and the broader welfare of society.

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Some More Objectives

The Copyright Act of 1957 has several objectives, including:

  • To protect the rights of creators of original works of authorship. This includes literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, as well as cinematograph films, sound recordings, and broadcasts.
  • To encourage the creation of new works of authorship. Copyright protection provides creators with the incentive to create new works, knowing that their work will be protected from unauthorised copying and exploitation.
  • To ensure that the public has access to copyrighted works. Copyright protection does not prevent the public from using copyrighted works. However, it does require that the public obtain permission from the copyright owner before using the work in certain ways. This helps to ensure that copyright owners are compensated for their work and that the public has access to a wide range of creative works.
  • To promote the development of science and the useful arts. Copyright protection can help to promote the development of science and the useful arts by encouraging the creation of new works that build on existing knowledge.
  • To balance the interests of copyright owners and the public. Copyright law seeks to balance the interests of copyright owners, who have the right to control the use of their work, and the public, which has the right to access copyrighted works. This balance is achieved through a number of provisions in the Copyright Act, such as the fair use doctrine and the first-sale doctrine.

The Copyright Act of 1957 is an important piece of legislation that helps to protect the rights of creators, encourage the creation of new works, and ensure that the public has access to copyrighted works.

The act also helps to balance the interests of copyright owners and the public.

The Global Challenge of Copyright Infringement: Combating Piracy in the Digital Age

The increase in technology has led to a notable issue of copyright infringement, commonly referred to as “piracy,” which has become a worldwide concern.

Technological advancements have made it easier and cheaper to reproduce copyrighted materials.

As a consequence, the sales of pirated recordings, such as cassettes, have reached alarming levels.

In India, it has been estimated that cassette piracy alone accounted for approximately 174 million units in sales, with a value of around 83 million dollars, making India one of the largest piracy markets worldwide.

This highlights the seriousness of the issue and its impact on the creative industry.

In response to these concerns, nations have established treaties to safeguard the copyright of their citizens in foreign lands.

One such significant convention is the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

India is a member of multiple conventions, ensuring that Indian copyright owners can protect their works in almost any country globally.

The Copyright Act of 1957 provides measures to address copyright infringement.

Infringement of copyright is a legal offense that carries penalties of imprisonment and fines.

These legal measures aim to deter and penalise those who violate the rights of creators, maintaining the integrity of copyright protection.

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Historical Background of Copyright in India

The history of copyright law in India can be traced back to its colonial era under the British Empire.

The Copyright Act 1957 is the initial copyright legislation in India after gaining independence. It has undergone six amendments since its enactment in 1957.

The first copyright law in India was the Indian Copyright Act, 1847, which was enacted by the British during the East India Company’s regime.

This law was based on the English Copyright Act of 1842 and it granted copyright protection to literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works.

The term of copyright under this law was for the lifetime of the author plus 7 years.

The Indian Copyright Act, 1914 was the first “modern” copyright law of India.

This law was based on the British Copyright Act of 1911 and it expanded the scope of copyright protection to include cinematograph films, sound recordings, and photographs.

The term of copyright under this law was for the lifetime of the author plus 50 years.

The Copyright Act, 1957 is the current copyright law in India.

This law was enacted after India gained independence from the British and it incorporated many of the provisions of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works.

The term of copyright under this law is for the lifetime of the author plus 60 years.

The Copyright Act, 1957 has been amended six times since it was enacted.

The most recent amendment was in 2012 and it brought the Indian copyright law into compliance with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Copyright Treaty and the WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty.

The history of copyright law in India is a long and complex one. However, the current copyright law is a comprehensive and robust piece of legislation that provides strong protection for copyright owners.

Why Copyright Act, 1957 Came Into Existence?

The Copyright Act of 1957 came into existence in India to provide a comprehensive legal framework for the protection of creative works and to address the evolving needs of copyright owners and users.

Several key factors contributed to the enactment of this legislation:

  1. International Obligations: India became a member of the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works in 1928. The Copyright Act of 1957 was enacted to align Indian copyright laws with the international standards and obligations set forth by the Berne Convention.
  2. Colonial Legacy: Prior to independence, India was under British colonial rule. The existing copyright law in India at that time was the Indian Copyright Act of 1914, which was based on British copyright law. The need for a comprehensive and updated copyright law specific to India became apparent after independence.
  3. Changing Technological Landscape: The advancements in technology, particularly in the field of printing, publishing, and audiovisual mediums, necessitated the need for an updated copyright law that could address the challenges posed by new forms of creative expression and reproduction.
  4. Protection for Authors and Creators: The Copyright Act of 1957 aimed to safeguard the rights and interests of authors, artists, composers, and other creators by providing them with legal protection and exclusive rights over their works. It aimed to incentivise creative endeavors and ensure that creators could enjoy the fruits of their labor.
  5. Balance between Rights and Public Interest: The Act also sought to strike a balance between the rights of copyright owners and the broader public interest. It recognised the importance of limitations and exceptions to copyright, allowing for certain uses of copyrighted material for purposes such as education, research, criticism, and review.

Overall, the Copyright Act of 1957 was enacted to establish a modern and comprehensive legal framework for copyright protection in India.

It aimed to meet international obligations, protect the rights of creators, and adapt to the changing technological landscape while striking a balance between the rights of copyright owners and the public interest.

Conclusion

The objective of Indian copyright law is to provide protection and recognition to creators of original works, encouraging artistic and creative endeavors across various subject matters.

Copyright protection grants creators the authority to control the use and distribution of their works for a limited period.

Copyright safeguards the moral rights and economical rights of the copyright holder, enabling them to benefit from their creations and prevent unauthorised use or infringement.

The concept of copyright is an important aspect of intellectual property rights, providing a fair framework for creativity while respecting copyright owners’ rights.

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FAQs

What is the objective of Indian copyright law?

The objective of copyright law is to protect and promote creativity and originality. This is ensured by granting exclusive rights to creators for their literary, artistic, musical, and other creative works.

What does Indian copyright law aim to achieve?

Indian copyright law aims to encourage innovation and creativity by providing creators with legal protection and recognition for their works, enabling them to control the use and distribution of their creations.

What does Indian copyright law cover?

It covers various subject matters, including literary works, musical compositions, artistic creations, cinematographic films, recording of sounds, and computer programs, among others.

How does copyright protect artistic qualities in video films?

Copyright safeguards the artistic craftsmanship and original expression depicted in video films, granting creators exclusive rights over their work and preventing others from using it without permission.

What are the economic rights in copyright?

Economic rights give the owner of copyright the power to control the commercial exploitation and monetary gain derived from their creative works.

How does fair dealing apply to copyright?

Fair Dealing is a legal provision that allows limited use of copyrighted materials without permission for specific purposes such as criticism, review, research, and reporting news, without infringing the copyright holder’s rights.

How does copyright law differ from country to country?

Copyright laws may vary from country to country, but the core objective remains the same – to provide protection and recognition to creators and their cultural heritage, fostering intelligent creation and artistic progress.

What are the remedies against infringement?

In case of copyright infringement, the copyright owner can seek remedies such as legal action, damages, and injunctions to protect their rights and seek compensation for any unauthorised use of their work.

Can copyright law of protection protect ideas?

Copyright protects how ideas or notions are expressed, not the ideas themselves.

While the specific expression of an idea can be copyrighted, the underlying concept or idea remains uncopyrightable.