Copyright is a form of intellectual property applicable to any expressible form of an idea or information that is substantive and discrete. Copyright law protects expressions of ideas rather than the ideas themselves. Copyright law provides for protection of Original Works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, cinematographic, photographic and sound recording works. Original means, that the work has not been copied from any other source. Protection starts as soon as an idea is expressed on a tangible form. Authors of musical, cinematographic and literary works may now be entitled to royalty in case their works are used for commercial purposes. Copyright provide bundle of exclusive rights vested in the owner of copyright by virtue of Section 14 of the Act. These rights can be exercised only by the owner of copyright or by any other person who is duly licensed in this regard by the owner of copyright.
Copyright is a legal concept, enacted by most governments, giving the creator of an original work exclusive rights to it, usually for a limited time. Generally, it is \"the right to copy\", but also gives the copyright holder the right to be credited for the work, to determine who may adapt the work to other forms, who may perform the work, who may financially benefit from it, and other related rights. Computer programs are considered as literary works and are protected under the Copyright Act. There is no copyright in an idea.
The contemporary intent of copyright is to promote the creation of new works by giving authors control of and profit from them. The Indian law of copyrights is enshrined in the Copyright Act, 1957. The Act seeks to provide for the registration of copyrights in India. The object of copyright law is to encourage authors, artists and composers to create original works by rewarding them with exclusive right for a fixed period to reproduce the works for commercial exploitation. Registration of Copyright is optional. However it is always advisable to obtain a registration for a better protection. Acquisition of copyright is automatic and it does not require any formality. However, certificate of registration of copyright and the entries made therein serve as prima facie evidence in a court of law with reference to disputes relating to ownership of copyright. Both published and unpublished works can be registered. When a work has been registered as unpublished and subsequently it is published, the applicant may apply for changes in particulars entered in the Register of Copyright.
The general rule is that copyright lasts for life + 60 years. In the case of original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works the 60-year period is counted from the year following the death of the author. In the case of cinematograph films, sound recordings, photographs, posthumous publications, anonymous and pseudonymous publications, works of government and works of international organizations, the 60-year period is counted from the date of publication. Anyone who claims copyrights in a work can use copyright notice to alert the public of the claim. It is not necessary to have a registration to use the designations though it is highly advisable to incorporate a copyright notice like the symbol, letter \"c\" in a circle or the word \"Copyright\" followed by name of copyright owner and year of first publication. For example, © JSP Associates, 2016.
It is the responsibility of the owner to see that his copyright is not being used or infringed upon by someone else. It is the owner\'s duty to file a suit of infringement against the infringer. The reliefs which may be usually awarded in such a suit are
Criminal action also can be taken on the basis of copyright registration. The minimum punishment for infringement of copyright is imprisonment for six months with the minimum fine of Rs. 50,000/-. In the case of a second and subsequent conviction the minimum punishment is imprisonment for one year and fine of Rs. one lakh.
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The material contained herein above is the intellectual property of JSP Associates and the copyright of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India. No part of the material appearing herein before may be copied, downloaded, saved to disk, forwarded or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without the express permission in writing of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India.