Copyright registration can be obtained for original works of art, literature, books, music, films, CDs and computer programs. Copyright ensures certain minimum safeguards of the rights of authors over their creations, thereby protecting and rewarding creativity. Creativity is the keystone of progress, no civilized society can afford to ignore the basic requirement of encouraging the same. Economic and social development of a society is dependent on creativity.
Protection of Rights of the Authors:
Copyright protects the rights of authors, i.e., creators of intellectual property in the form of literary, musical, dramatic and artistic works and cinematographic films and sound recordings. Generally the author is the first owner of copyright in a work. “Author” as per Section 2(d) of the Act means
- In the case of a literary or dramatic work the author, i.e., the person who creates the work.
- In the case of a musical work, the composer.
- In the case of a cinematographic films, the producer.
- In the case of a sound recording, the producer.
- In the case of a photograph, the photographer.
- In the case of any literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work which is computer-generated, the person who causes the work to be created.
Terms of Copyright:
Sections 22 to 29 deal with the terms of copyright in respect of published literary, dramatic, musical and artistic works; anonymous and pseudonymous; posthumous, photographs, cinematographic films, sound recording, Government works, works of PSUs and works of international organizations.
Literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works enjoy copyright protection for the lifetime of the author plus 60 years beyond i.e. 60 years after his death. In the case of joint authorship which implies collaboration of two or more authors in the production of the work, the term of copyright is to be construed as a reference to the author who dies last.
In the case of copyright in posthumous, anonymous and pseudonymous works, photographs, cinematographic films, sound recordings, works of Government, public undertaking and international organizations, the term of protection is 60 years from the beginning of the calendar year next following the year in which the work has been first published.
Assignment of Copyright:
The owner of the copyright in an existing work or the prospective owner of the copyright in a future work may assign to any person the copyright. Section 18 of the Copyright Act provides for the assignment of copyright in an existing work as well as future work.
In both the cases an assignment may be made of the copyright either wholly or partially and generally or subject to limitations and that too for the whole period of copyright or part thereof.
However, in case of assignment of copyright in any future work, the assignment has the real effect only when the work comes into existence. Section 18(3) explains that an assignee in respect of assignment of the copyright in future work includes the legal representative of the assignee, if the assignee dies before the work comes into existence.
It also helps you to protect your work from infringement. Section 54 to 62 of the Copyright Act, provides civil remedies for copyright remedies and Section 55 deals with remedies like injunctions, damages and accounts as are conferred by law for the infringement of a right.
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