Copyright - Frequently Asked Questions
Newsletter
Date: January 2012
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1. What is Copyright.
A. Copyright is the right granted to the owner to make copies of his work and distribute it or sell it or give it on hire.

In case of a literary, dramatic, musical work it is the right to reproduce, make copies, perform in public, make a 
 cinematographic film, translation or an adaptation of the work.

In case of a computer programme, it is the right to do the above and also to sell or rent a copy of the programme.

In case of an artistic work, it is the right to reproduce the work in any material form.

In case of a cinematographic film, it is the right to make a copy, sell or give on hire or communicate it to the public.

In case of a sound recording, it is the right to make any other sound recording containing it, sell it or give it on hire and to communicate it to the public

2. What is the object of the Copyright Law?
A. The object of the act is to encourage authors, composers and artists to create original works by granting them the exclusive right to make copies and sell them for consideration for a number of years.

3. What does Copyright protect?
A. Copyright protects original works created by use of skill, labour and capital in a fixed tangible form. It does not protect ideas or facts. It is possible that another person may create the same thing or achieve the same result independently by his own skills and labour.

4. What is the term of a Copyright?
A. It is 60 years from the year next follwing the death of the author in case of published literary, artistic, dramatic or musical works.

In case of it is 60 years from the year next following the first publication.

In case of unpublished work, anonymous or pseudonomous works, photographs, cinematographic films, sound recordings, Government works or work of public undertaings it is 60 years from the year next following the publication.

5. Can the owner of the Copyright grant a licence?
A. Yes the owner of the Copyright has a right to grant a licence to any person. It could either be an exclusive licence or a non-exclusive licence. Though there is no prescribed form for the licence, it should be in writing and should be signed by the owner. A licence can be granted even in respect of a future work. In such a case the licence shall commence from the date when the work comes into existence.

6. When is Copyright in any work infringed?
A. A Copyright is infringed when a person, without licence from the owner, does something, the exclusive right of which is given to the owner.

7. What are the remedies if the Copyright in some work is infringed?
A. There are three types of remedies available against infringement of a Copyright.
I. Civil remedy includes filing a suit for an injunction, damages, accounts 

II. Delivery of infringing articles

III. Criminal remedy includes imprisonment, fine, seizure and delivery of infringing articles

IV. Application before the Registrar of Copyright to ban the import of infringing copies into India and confiscation of infringing articles.

8. What is the jurisdiction for filing a suit for infringement of Copyright?
A. In cases of copyright infringement a suit can be initiated before the district court within whose jurisdiction, either the Plaintiffs or the Defendants reside or carry on business or work for gain.

9. Give some examples of works in which Copyright protection can be granted?
A. A speech if reduced in writing before it is delivered, letters, questionnaire, catalogues, photographs, brochures, dictionary, compilation, computer programmes reduced in some form, etc. are some instances where copyright protection can be granted.

10. Examples of works in which Copyright protection cannot be granted?A. An ex-tempo speech not reduced in writing before delivery, titles of books, reports of judicial proceedings, a single word, ideas, etc, cannot be granted protection.

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