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Copyright is a type of intellectual property. It is essentially a bunch of rights which protect an author's right in literary, artistic and musical works, which can even include computer programmes and electronic databases. Copyright generally includes the author's exclusive right to reproduce, right to publish, right to translate, right to adapt, etc. Today, copyright protection exists only for a limited period.

HistoryEdit

A common law copyright existed in the 17th century which granted copyright in perpetuity. However, the Statute of Anne legislated in 1910 was the first legislation to grant copyright in the UK, which laid down a copyright protection of 14 years in a work published after the enactment of the statute, and a protection of 21 years for a work already in circulation. However, in 1729 in Millar's case, it was questioned whether the Statute had abolished the copyright which existed in common law, and the Court presided by Lord Mansfield, answered in the negative, thus giving the booksellers back their monopoly in the market. But subsequently in Donaldson v. Beckett, the House of Lords ruled that the Statute of Anne had indeed demolished the common law copyright.

​Rights granted under copyrightEdit

Section 14 of The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 lays down the rights granted under copyright. Different rights are granted for different kinds of work. These works can broadly be categorised in five ways.

I. Literary work , Dramatic work and Musical work minus computer programmes

The Indian Copyright Act, 1957 grants protection to 10 rights in case of such works.

1. The copyright holder's exclusive right to reproduce the work in any material form.

This includes the storing of a work in any medium by electronic means.

2. The copyright holder's exclusive right to issues such copies of the work to the public which are not already in circulation.

This means the copyright holder cannot claim a right to prevent the further dissemination of his work once it is already in public circulation. Therefore, if such a work is sold, the copyright holder cannot regulate the buyer's distribution of that copy of the work which he bought. This is known as the Doctrine of First Sale . However, the copyright holder still has the exclusive right to reproduce the work. The buyer is free to distribute only that copy which he bought.

3. The copyright holder's exclusive right to perform the work in public.

4. The copyright holder's exclusive right to communicate the work to the public.

5. The copyright holder's exclusive right to make any cinematographic film in respect of the work.

6. The copyright holder's exclusive right to make any sound recording in respect of the work.

7. The copyright holder's exclusive right to make any translation of the work.

8. The copyright holder's exclusive right to make any adaptation of the work.

9. The copyright holder's exclusive right to do any of the things enlisted in points 1-6 above in relation to a translation of the work.

10. The copyright holder's exclusive right to do any of the things enlisted in points 1-6 above in relation to an adaptation of the work.

II. Computer Programmes

III. Artistic Work

IV. Cinematographic Film

V. Sound Recording

Term of copyrightEdit

The copyright protection is thus always granted for a fixed period and is not a right in perpetuity. In India, under The Copyright Act, 1957, copyright protection is granted from the date of publication of the work till the lifetime of the author, plus 60 years, under Section 22 of The Copyright Act, 1957. In case there are more than one authors to a work, copyright protection in the work exists from date of publication of the work till the lifetime of the author who last dies, plus 60 years.