Copyright is an exclusive right granted by the law to creators of literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works and producers of cinematography films and sound recordings. In fact, it is a bunch of rights including, rights of reproduction, communication to the public, adaptation and translation of the work. There could be slight variations in the form of the rights depending on the work

First Act to protect copy right was introduced in 1914 and was followed by Copyright Act 1957 .1957 Act adopted many English provisions introduced new ideas and concepts and was enforced from 21 January 1958.


Main features of Copyright Act of 1957


  • Creation of Copyright Board: Copyright Office and a Copyright Board was created to make registration process of Copyright easy and to address the related to copyright and compulsory licensing of Copyright.
  • Definition of Work: It defines clearly various categories of work in which copyright can subsist and the scope of the rights. A work means any artistic, dramatic, musical, artistic work or cinematographic film or sound recording.
  • Authorship & Ownership: According to the Act the author/creator is the first owner of the work. In case of musical work the composer is the author or creator ,in case of cinematograph film the producer is the author /owner whereas in case of Government work normally the concerned Government body is the author.
  • Term: The general term of Copyright is 60 years. Term of copyright for musical, dramatic and artistic works, except for photograph is sixty years from the year in which the author died.
  • Assignment & Compulsory Licensing: The copyright owner can transfer his/her rights to another person in return of some fixed royalty. The owner can transfer the all the rights or some of the rights to the Assignee (The person whom the rights will be transferred. The owner can license his rights to another person as well. It is known as Compulsory Licensing. It helps in curbing misuse of rights by the owner.
  • Formation of Copyright Societies: Copyright Society is a registered administrative body that looks after the management and protection of copyrights.
  • Broadcast reproduction rights: The Act gives special rights, to a broadcast organization, known as “Broadcast reproduction Rights”. It is given for 25 years.
  • Performers’ rights: It gives protection to the performers. The right is given for fifty years.
  • International Copyright: According to this provision a foreigner is entitled to enjoy copyright for his work in India.
  • Infringement Defined: When a person , without permission from the owner tries to use the rights related to the work, it is known as infringement. e.g. A person making copies of a Book without license.
  • Exception : If a person uses the work for research ,analysis or for educational purpose, he does not require any permission from the author.
  • Remedies against infringement: Civil and criminal remedies are available against against infringement.



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