Connotation of amendments in Indian Copyright Act 1947

imageThe Govt of India brings in Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 to update Copyright Act, 1957 with the demands of the contemporary times. In its inception the law was enacted to provide protection to the copyright of the authors and creators of original literary, dramatic, artistic and cinematographic work. However with the advent of latest electronic ecosystem (including Internet and other sophisticated e-devices) the archaic law of 1957 falls short to efficiently and effectively protect copyright and other intellectual property rights of the owners as it did not deal with electronic format since that was not the preferred format at the time of the passing of such legislation. The new Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010 tries to overcome these shortcomings by incorporating new items. 

Highlights of the Copyright (Amendment) Bill, 2010:

  • All activities done using computers, computer systems, computer networks, computer resources and communication devices, as also data and information in the electronic form will fall within the ambit of the applicability of the Copyright Act
  • Lyricists and Artists will be provided a level-playing field with respect to music companies and producers and allows them to negotiate the terms of the royalty for their literary and artistic creation
  • Radio and Television broadcasters to pay royalty to the owners of the copyright each time the work of art is broadcast
  • Effective protective framework for physically challenged or disabled persons by exempting works prepared for the good of the physically challenged in special formats such as Braille, from copyright
  • Compulsory license to be granted for a certain number of copies in non-special formats to not-for-profit organisations which are working in the field of protecting and benefitting disabled persons
  • Safeguards of performers in the digital and electronic world by allowing performers to make their sound of visual recording of their performances and reproduce the same in any medium. 
  • The term “visual recording” is modified to include the recording in any medium by any method including the storing of it by any electronic means, moving images or the representations thereof, from which they can be perceived, reproduced or communicated by any method
  • Evasion of effective technological measures applied for the purposes of protecting any rights conferred by the Copyright Act with the intention of infringing such rights will attract a punishment of 2 years and fine
  • Advertently tampering with any rights management information without authority is put under new offence.
  • Students are exempted to use the artistic, literary or dramatic or cinematographic works for research purposes under expanded concept of “Fair Use”.

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